Represión León

Ortega orders the closure of Radio Darío in León

The regime of Daniel Ortega, through the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (Telcor), closed this Friday, August 12, Radio Darío, the station that was burned on April 21, 2018 by Ortega mobs in the context of the Civic Rebellion, and that has remained under harassment and harassment from the Government.

The regulatory body alleged that the radio allegedly modified and substantially altered the authorized facilities and the conditions in which the FM sound broadcasting service must operate, without the prior authorization of Telcor, which constitutes a cause for cancellation of the license”, reads in the letter shared by the director of the station, Aníbal Toruño, through his Twitter.

According to Telcor, technical staff of the regulatory entity carried out a review this Friday and found that the radio was working in another residence to which it was authorized; that the main transmitter is located on El Fortín hill and has other characteristics than the approved license.

They argue that the radio was transmitting with a power of 100 watts, which does not correspond to the approved power of 500 watts, and that they were using the 293.5 frequency without permission. You are ordered to immediately cease your transmissions, all under penalty of laworders the letter.

Toruño rejected Telcor’s resolution, calling it “a rigged, lying excuse”, whose sole objective is “to silence the voices of Radio Darío”.

Taking Law 670, signed by Daniel Ortega in 2008, as a reference, and which establishes license extensions for companies and natural or legal persons that operate radio, television and cable indefinitely, Toruño pointed out that “any Telcor argument is spurious, it is false, it is a liar and the only intention is to close a media outlet after 73 years,” he said in a virtual press conference from his exile in the United States.

“Today a transmission device was turned off, but not Radio Darío, not our voices. At Radio Darío we are filled with strength in the face of the insane desperation of those who seek to silence the truth. We will continue to exercise our inalienable right to inform, we will continue to work for freedom and truth…”, journalist Toruño said.

With the closure of the station, there are 14 local media outlets closed, mostly in northern Nicaragua, during the first half of August by Telcor. The state entity, led by Nahima Díaz Flores, daughter of Police Chief Francisco Díaz, Daniel Ortega’s in-law, has argued that the media supposedly do not have the necessary permits to operate.

Telcor closed ten stations from the Diocese of Matagalpa between August 1 and 2 —directed by Bishop Rolando José Álvarez, who is kidnapped in the Episcopal Curia of Matagalpa—, the independent Radio Vos, and took two channels that were transmitted through subscription television off the air: the local channel RB3 “El Canal de la Zona Láctea”, also from Matagalpa, and the NGTV3 channel, which was broadcast in Nueva Guinea, in the Nicaraguan South Caribbean, owned by the journalist Galo José Suárez Jaime.

Months earlier, Telcor took three catholic channels broadcast on subscription television.

The closure of Catholic radio stations and other community media in Nicaragua has been condemned by the European Union (EU) and international organizations such as the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (RELE).

A resilient radio

Toruño denounced the closure of the station —with 73 years of history and founded by his father in 1949— and assured that neither turning off equipment nor arbitrarily withdrawing a license will silence us or silence the truth.

Radio Darío is and will be a voice that defends justice, democracy and citizen rights. Far from intimidating us, their actions strengthen ushe indicated in a Tweet.

Since the burning of the Radio facilities, located in León and owned by the journalist Toruño —in exile facing prison threats—, the journalistic team continued broadcasting from different platforms, including Modulated Frequency (FM) 89.3, from clandestine .

Radio Darío was burned on the night of April 21, 2018 in León. Toruño said that a bomb was thrown by the mobs at the radio reception and the fire spread to the management office. That was the beginning of a series of repressive acts against the station and its journalists who have resisted the onslaught of state violence.

In December 2018, the Police, led by General Commissioner Fidel Domínguez, looted the radio station and arrested four journalists who were later released. Faced with the brutal attack against the media outlet and the direct threats against Toruño, who is also its director, he went into exile for nine months and returned in 2019.

However, in January 2021, the Police raided Toruño’s house in León, threatening to incriminate him for drug trafficking crimes. Again, he went into his second exile in the United States.

“It is a pattern of persecution. It is an escalation. They had not done so to the media,” Toruño said, referring to the strategy that the Ortega Murillo regime has applied since 2019: searching the houses of released political prisoners and opposition figures, he said in January 2021.

“The authorities and parastatals are the direct authors of the threats and attacks against me and radio workers, as well as the damage caused to the facilities, they reaffirm that the State has orchestrated a stage of selective attacks against the voices and directors of independent media, including Radio Darío, his team and myself,” Toruño denounced in a session before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. in September 2019.

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