police Nicaragua The Friday (13) operation was carried out at the headquarters of the opposition newspaper “La Prensa”, amid a wave of arrests of critics and rivals of the president and candidate for another term, Daniel Ortega, less than three months before the elections.
According to the National Police, the newspaper’s managers are being investigated for customs fraud and money laundering. This action comes a day after the car denounced keeping paper and suspended its printed circulation. The facilities are in the custody of the security forces.
Police patrols entered the newspaper’s headquarters in the afternoon, where the newspaper’s employees were stationed.
In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega’s regime arrested a new opponent
From June so far, the government has ordered the arrest of 32 opponents, including seven potential rivals to President Ortega, in power since 2007 who will fight on November 7 for the left-wing Sandinista National Liberation Front, the fourth. consecutive term.
“The laws will apply to everyone who commits a crime and wants to launder money and then hides evidence in a newspaper. Evidence was found there,” the president said during a rally commemorating the establishment of the army’s naval force.
Ortega, 75, accuses opponents of treason against the country and encouraging sanctions against the country. His wife, Rosario Murillo, has been with him as Vice President since 2017.
Nicaraguan police raid newspaper headquarters amid wave of arrests (Photo: Mayor Valenzuela/Reuters)
In its August 12 issue, La Prensa asserted that the “siege of the Ortagist dictatorship” had left the car without papers. But Ortega said authorities “found a quantity of paper” in the warehouse during police intervention, and said the accusations made by the newspaper were “defamation of the state”. “He who defames and slanders goes to prison.”
Government-linked media published photos of the newspaper’s warehouse on their social networks, where they said there was plenty of material to continue printing work, although La Prensa denounced the “kidnapping” of the raw materials by customs. Officials claimed that the amount of paper was not enough to print the issue.
During the operation, journalists from “La Prensa” denounced the cut off of the Internet, electricity and shutdown of servers. Employees who were in the building were prevented from using their cell phones.
“I’m fine. They have already allowed us to return to the newsroom,” Fabian Medina, the newspaper’s head of information, wrote on Twitter.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression spoke on their social networks, condemning the “ongoing official persecution of the press in Nicaragua”.
The bodies noted that “direct or indirect pressures aimed at silencing the work of the press affect the democratic debate and conflict with the right to freedom of expression.”
“La Prensa”, which has a history of 95 years and the only nationally circulated newspaper in Nicaragua, is a fierce critic of the government. This is the second time that its printed version has been suspended, after the car in 2019 denounced the confiscation of raw materials by customs.
Diario Nuevo, also national circulation, suspended its operations in September 2019, after accusations of obstructing the import of raw materials by customs.
The two cars widely covered the protests that erupted in 2018 against Ortega’s government, which they described as an attempted coup.
Union organizations estimate that at least 30 independent media outlets have disappeared due to confiscation or forced closures during Ortega’s government.
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