IAPA demands "return" of La Prensa one year after the "usurpation"

Nicaragua celebrates 431 days without a printed newspaper

Nicaragua celebrated this October 17 431 days since the last time that the newspaper La Prensa stopped circulating as the only printed period in the country, after the assault and raid carried out by the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo on August 13, 2021. Despite the obstacles of the ruling party, the media continues to be informed in its digital format.

The attacks of the Ortega-Murillo administration against the oldest and most important media outlet in the country began in 2018 with the constant blockades of raw materials through the General Directorate of Customs (DGA), which forced its directors to reduce the number of pages and print in tabloid format.

Related news: La Prensa denounces “confiscation” of its building and assets by the dictatorship

After several attempts to silence the media outlet, on August 13 of last year, the dictatorship finally stormed the newspaper’s facilities. More than 10 police patrols raided the facilities and began an alleged investigation for customs fraud, money laundering, goods and assets.

La Prensa newspaper under police siege. Photo: The Press

The media has indicated that, despite everything, they will remain committed and informing citizens. The government measure was considered an act of repression against freedom of expression and of the press, because there were never real reasons for such an action carried out by the regime through the DGA.

According to the independent media, whose editorial staff was forced into exile last July after the arrest of two employees, their assets “at the time of the confiscation had a value close to 10 million dollars.”

On August 23, 2022, the Ortega-Murillo regime consummated the assault on the newspaper and set up the José Coronel Urtecho Cultural and Polytechnic Center on the premises. “The Ortega Murillo regime is trying to put an end to 96 years of history of the dean of national journalism, dismantling the campus that houses it,” La Prensa responded to the dictatorship’s announcement.

hunt for journalists

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), through its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (RELE), maintained that the Sandinista regime has broken democratic institutions and has continued its attack against independent journalism, in addition to continuing to violate systematically the human rights of Nicaraguans.

In its latest report, the Rapporteurship points out that the Ortega-Murillo regime has intensified the escalation of violence against journalists through “stigmatizing statements and criminalizing accusations.”

The special rapporteur for freedom of the press of the IACHR, Pedro Vaca, said that “there is a clear hunt for journalists in Nicaragua,” a country where harassment, censorship, persecution, arrests, and arbitrary legal proceedings are part of the actions of the regime.

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