The journalists Wilfredo Miranda and Carlos Herrera, on behalf of the digital media divergentreceived this May 31 the Ortega y Gasset Award in Valencia, Spain, for the series of reports entitled «The challenge after the massacre: memory, truth, justice and non-repetition», awarded as best multimedia coverage.
«It is not certain that today we could do this work, now silence reigns even more. In Nicaragua, journalism is a high-risk job,” Miranda said upon receiving the award. In his complaint, he detailed that in the country there are no sources of information other than the official ones, and “politicians, judges and prosecutors, or they are imprisoned, or in exile, or they are afraid.”
Both journalists work from exile because they affirm that within the country “there is no freedom of the press, there is no freedom of thought and no journalist serves as a prisoner or martyr.” Miranda and Herrera, two of the nine authors of The challenge after the massacre, participated in the planning and elaboration; the reports, information and chronicles are not signed, they are anonymous because “it is important to preserve the safety of the reporters,” Miranda said.
During their speech they firmly denounced “the murders and the horror with which Nicaraguans live and still remain. There is impotence, rage and pain, we live in a state of terror”, but they trust that their work will serve to preserve memory, that one day justice will be done and, furthermore, that it will not be repeated. Still, they are not optimistic about a better future in the medium term. «The only way out I see is Daniel Ortega’s biological clock».
Both journalists dedicated their work to “independent journalism in Nicaragua that does not give in or remain silent in the face of the Ortega-Murillo repression. Especially for the colleagues imprisoned in El Chipote”, published Miranda, graphic editor of Divergents.
The report of the Observatory of Attacks on the Freedom of the Independent Press, presented on April 21, warns that attacks on free journalism persist, after having recorded 78 complaints: 18 in January, 34 in February and 26 in March. The document indicates that in Nicaragua the profession of journalists has been criminalized, prosecuting and condemning men and women of the press “for informing or for being a critical voice of the government of Daniel Ortega.”
To this day, journalists Miguel Mora, Miguel Mendoza, Cristiana Chamorro, Jaime Arellano (both under house arrest), Pedro Joaquín Chamorro and Juan Lorenzo Holman Chamorro remain in prison.