The regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo ordered the closure of eleven stations, ten belonging to the Diocese of Matagalpa, the independent Radio Vos, and took the local channel RB3 off the air. “The Milky Zone Channel”whose programming was transmitted through subscription television.
The closure of the local media, with a Catholic majority, occurred between this Monday and Tuesday, and was carried out by the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Post Office (Telcor), whose general director is Nahima Díaz Flores, daughter of Police Chief Francisco Díaz, Daniel Ortega’s in-law.
The deputy general director of Telcor, Celina Delgado Castellón, alleged in a letter sent to the management of the company Cablevisión Río Blanco on August 2, that the local channel RB 3, which was broadcast on channel 15 of the programming grid of that subscription television, “does not have authorization from this regulatory entity to operate as a local content channel”.
“By virtue of the foregoing, I request that, once this communication is received, said Channel (RB 3) be removed from the grid of channels authorized by Telcor from your company Cablevisión”ordered the telecommunications regulator.
Likewise, the company Cablevisión Río Blanco “must submit an updated grid proposal in all its categories, specifically indicating the new channel that will be broadcast in the position occupied by channel 15, for the corresponding review and authorization of this regulatory entity”he added.
The local channel RB 3, which has been operating for 18 years in the municipality of Río Blanco, in northern Nicaragua, is owned by journalist David Mendoza, who, crying, announced the closure of his media outlet after receiving the notification from Telcor.
“We will keep informing through social networks”said the journalist, who emotionally said goodbye to his audience and his sponsors.
Radio Vos, also from Matagalpa, reported that a delegation from Telcor appeared this Tuesday accompanied by the Police to carry out a review of the transmission equipment. They concluded that they do not comply with article 41 of Law 200, the General Law of Telecommunications and Postal Services, which indicates that broadcasters may not suspend transmissions except in a fortuitous event and must inform the license holder of the causes.
— Radio Vos (@RadioVosFM) August 3, 2022
“After the supervision, we were notified of the cancellation of our 101.7 FM modulated frequency transmission license,” they indicate in a statement on their social networks. The radio was born 18 years ago and defined itself as a “feminist station alongside the population…”.
Monsignor Álvarez questions Telcor’s argument
The Diocese of Matagalpa reported Monday afternoon that they had been notified of the closure of five of their radio stations, but by the end of the day there were ten radio stations closed, said Monsignor Rolando Álvarez, bishop of that diocese and administrator of the Diocese of Estelí. Telcor’s argument is that the stations did not have the operating permits or “the current enabling title.”
However, Monsignor Álvarez clarified that he himself had submitted all the required documentation since 2016, but “we never received answers as is already the custom of the Government in some and many other cases,” he said on Monday afternoon in an annoyed tone.
“If the director of Telcor, Nahima Diaz Flores, He wants to receive me, I will take him with the receipt and signature of that same day from Telcor, all the documents that I presented to them. If they are right, I myself will say to the people that they are correct, that they close our radios, but if they are not right, that they have the bravery and the courage to say that they were wrong or that they want to purposely close our media outlets”, said.
The closed stations are Radio Hermanos, Radio Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, Radio Nuestra Señora de Fátima, Radio Alliens, Radio Monte Carmelo, Radio San José, Radio Católica de Sébaco, Radio Santa Lucía, Radio Esquipulas, and Radio Católica de Waslala, administered by the Diocese of Matagalpa.
The latter reported through its social network account that Telcor ordered the immediate cessation of its operations, justifying that its signal was not registered, despite the fact that the station presented the proper documentation. “The order was resounding”reads the statement published this Tuesday, August 2.
After the massive closure of the stations, the Police violently assaulted and entered the Jesús de la Divina Misericordia parish in Sébaco, to take away the equipment of Radio Católica, one of the closed stations. This caused the discontent of the population that came to defend the priest Uriel Vallejos, but was attacked by the regime’s police with tear gas.
Inside the Catholic temple, in the parish house, the priest and six parishioners have still been under police siege for more than 24 hours.
Radio Hermanos, another of the closed radio stations, operated for 29 years and was heard through 92.3 in Modulated Frequency and 690 in Modulated Amplitude (AM). It was founded by Cardinal Leopoldo José Brenes in 1993 and has been dedicated to the evangelizing mission, they indicated in a note published on their website.
The Nicaraguan authorities have also removed from programming three catholic channels that were broadcast on subscription television in the last three months.
At the same time, they maintain a crusade against the independent media, they have imprisoned and sentenced journalists and have criminalized the profession, forcing several reporters to flee the country for their safety, as recently happened with the entire newsroom of the newspaper La Press, whose facilities are taken over by the Police.
With information from EFE