True to its policy of assaulting and then confiscating, the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo made official this August 23 the theft of the assets and the building of the newspaper La Prensa —the oldest in Nicaragua—, a year after the Police National will forcefully occupy its facilities and arrest its general managerJuan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro.
The regime installed, in the stolen building, the “José Coronel Urtecho” Cultural and Polytechnic Center, under the administration of the National Technological Institute (Inatec).
the press, which is now only published digitally, denounced last Monday that “for several days, regime operators have been carrying out construction works and moving some of the machinery and equipment. With these actions, the Ortega Murillo regime concretes the de facto confiscation of the assets of the industrial plant of Editorial La Prensa”.
The Nicaraguan Constitution prohibits confiscation, and that the State can only seize private property when the law allows it, although with prior and fair compensation for those affected.
To occupy the newspaper’s facilities, located in an industrial area in the north of Managua, the Nicaraguan authorities alleged that the medium was allegedly used to commit crimes of “customs fraud, money laundering, goods and assets.”
Last April, Holmann Chamorronephew-in-law of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who defeated Ortega in the 1990 elections, was sentenced to nine years in prison for the alleged crime of “money laundering.”
Third half confiscated
La Prensa becomes the third national media outlet whose facilities were stolen and used by the regime. Since the end of 2018, the dictatorship has confiscated the installations of CONFIDENTIALThis Week and the 100% News channel.
The journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, director of CONFIDENCIAL, recalled that in 1973, when La Prensa returned to circulation after the Managua earthquake, the poet José Coronel Urtecho wrote a telegram that said: “Congratulations on the reappearance of La Prensa; For the conscience of the country, when La Prensa stops coming out, it is as if nothing happened, or everything was a lie”.
URGENT In 1973, the poet José Coronel Urtecho wrote: “for the conscience of the country, when La Prensa stops coming out, it is as if nothing happened, or everything was a lie.” Today Daniel Ortega confiscates La Prensa and to launder his crime he baptizes it as “José Coronel Cultural Center”
– Carlos F Chamorro (@cefeche) August 23, 2022
the headquarters of CONFIDENTIAL was convertedin 2021, in a maternity home, while the 100% Noticias building was used for a care center for alcohol and drug addicts.
In addition, the regime has confiscated and illegally used the facilities of nine civil society organizations, including: the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh), the Popol Na Foundation, the Institute for Democracy and Development (Ipade) and the Institute of Strategic Studies and Public Policies (Ieepp).
value of goods
According to La Prensa, whose editorial staff was forced into exile last July following the arrest of two employees, their assets “at the time of seizure were worth close to $10 million.”
“In February 2021, an appraisal carried out to contract insurance took into account the physical state of the real estate, that is, civil works and/or buildings, and valued them at 1.84 million dollars. This includes offices, warehouses, parking, unloading area and other construction works”, according to the daily publication.
The machinery and equipment had an acquisition cost of 14.48 million dollars, but considering the depreciation for the years of use, a value of 6.04 million dollars was calculated. “The value of the construction, added to that of the machinery and equipment, totals 7.89 million dollars. But to that amount we must add the value of the land, which is around 1.80 million dollars. So, the total of the assets confiscated from the company reaches 9.68 million dollars”, detailed La Prensa.
The newspaper highlighted that among the confiscated assets are a 2.01 million dollar rotary printer and a 3.89 million dollar commercial printer, with the capacity to print, bind or glue, “books, brochures, flyers, and any other material printed, including ballot papers”.