The rotary presses that printed the newspaper The Pressthe oldest newspaper in Nicaragua, will be turned on again after more than a year after the authorities intervened, but this time they will be managed by the government of Daniel Ortega, according to the communication company’s board of directors, which denounced an “illegal” expropriation of its facilities.
in the building of The Presson a main track in Managua, Vice President Rosario Murillo advertisement that a cultural center would be built after having spent a year in the hands of the National Police and an investigation was announced against Juan Lorenzo Holmann, director of the newspaper, whom the courts accused of money laundering.
However, it was unknown what would happen to the machinery with which the newspaper was printed and to a commercial printing press that was in its facilities.
Eduardo Enríquez, editor-in-chief of The Presssaid to the voice of america that the government has started operations inside the building. The newspaper had already ceased physical printing since August 2021, when it ran out of paper due to a customs blockade.
Although the exact purpose of using the machinery is not known, the employees of the press have been rehired and Enríquez believes that it could be to start a pro-government propaganda medium.
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper assures that what they have done with the installations and the equipment of The Press “It’s nothing more than a robbery.”
“There is not even any legal basis or political argument to qualify it as expropriation or confiscation. That was a shameless robbery,” Enríquez told the VOA from Miami, where he is in exile.
The newspaper La Prensa was intervened in September 2021 and its general manager, Juan Lorenzo Holmann, was arrested and accused of money laundering. However, Enríquez assures that, although the case against the businessman “was illegal and false”, because nothing was proven, the accusation never mentioned The Press.
“Holmann doesn’t even own The Press S.A.therefore, there is no legal basis or for The Press was taken, confiscated, nor the press, the equipment used in any way. That should have been returned to the owners,” he added.
There is no legal basis for La Prensa to be taken over, confiscated, or for the newspaper, the equipment used in any way
The Inter-American Press Association (SIP) has said that “the new misuse, illegal and unconstitutional” alarms because it could be a new attempt by the Ortega government “to use the propaganda machine and lies in order to continue creating its own narrative.”
The president of the IAPA Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, told the VOA that this action is one more step taken by the Ortega government against the independent press and its attempts to silence all dissident, opposition or critical voices in Nicaragua.
fear of misinformation
“First they began to harass journalism. Then they began to persecute him, they also began to financially stifle the private media and, finally, ended with the expropriation of some of them and, now, the claim to use their facilities and equipment for propaganda purposes to disseminate the single thought, the thought of the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo”, lamented Jornet.
Jornet expressed his fear of misinformation and the “information manipulation by the regime”, which goes deeper than the fact that there are no different voices, newspapers that exercise their role as controllers of state actions, he said.
Interest in a pro-government newspaper
Enríquez said that it is possible that the government “is interested in publishing a newspaper that nobody is going to read,” as happened with the circulation of the official media. Digital 19 in 2007.
“First they tried to sell it and no one bought it, so they tried to give it away and no one took them, and finally they gave up… but for political reasons, they are going to want or could want to have a newspaper and, as we know, they also see the State as part of his property,” said Enríquez.
On the other hand, the machinery in question “has always been the best in Nicaragua and can be very competitive,” Enríquez said.
The Press It is the oldest newspaper in Nicaragua, with almost 100 years of history, and is considered a benchmark for journalism at a national and international level.
Currently it continues to be run by the Chamorro family, whose directors are in prison.