Nicaraguan melodrama

Congressman attempts suicide, humiliated by charges of bigamy.

Published May 26, 2000 7:00PM (EDT)

Comedian Lenny Bruce once said that if you're ever caught sleeping around on your wife, deny it -- even if the mistress is lying in bed with you at the time.

Unfortunately, Lenny Bruce died before he could pass along this sage piece of advice to Nicaraguan congressman Marlon Boanerges Castillo. Humiliated by recent charges of bigamy, Castillo freaked out and shot up Managua's Nicaraguan Assembly building, then put a pistol to his head and threatened to blow himself away.

Picture this scene -- police surrounding the building, sobbing friends and relatives begging him to stop, a Roman Catholic priest asking for the gun. Come to think of it, Lenny Bruce would have been too late. Once you take it that far, denying it does seem kind of moot, doesn't it?

This crazy five-hour scenario began earlier this month when Castillo's first wife, Maritza del Carmen Sequeira Morales, discovered he was not Castillo, but actually her first husband, Jose Antonio Alvarez Urbina, who had supposedly died in 1984 while fighting with the U.S.-backed Contra rebels against the Sandinistas. Sequeira said that a friend pointed out the resemblance of Urbina to congressman Castillo, and after a bit of research, she discovered he had created a new identity with a phony birth certificate. Her "dead" husband, father of their four daughters, was actually a living politician with a new wife.

Castillo at first denied the charges, and claimed that Sequeira was attempting to blackmail him. He later admitted the allegations, and was seen leaving the legislative chamber, accompanied by a strange entourage consisting of his current wife, anti-terrorist police, congressmen, and nurses, one of whom was carrying a straitjacket. Soon thereafter, Castillo entered the National Assembly with a pistol and began firing, occasionally holding the barrel to his head. After approximately five hours and 14 shots, a fellow congressman read a psalm to calm him down. He fell to his knees weeping, and then turned over his gun to a priest.

Apparently believing that he was the first politician to commit bigamy, Castillo planned to kill himself in front of a bunch of journalists because then the world would know about his predicament.

Oddly, Castillo was not arrested because he has congressional immunity. His whereabouts are unknown.

By Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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