On July 7, 2022, the government of Ortega and Murillo again attacked the newspaper La Prensa, persecuting a journalistic team from that medium that covered the expulsion of 18 nuns from the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose group had previously been closed by Parliament.
Newspaper hosts Mario Sánchez and Carlos Lam were arrested and placed in preventive detention for three months “for investigations”, while the homes of a journalist and a photographer were raided by the police that same night.
La Prensa has only been circulating on networks since August 2021, when its facilities were occupied by the Police, who still remain in the building, and its general manager, Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, was arrested and sentenced to nine years in prison for allegedly “laundering of money".
"We hold the regime responsible for what can happen to each of La Prensa's workers, victims of abuse, intolerance, and lack of respect for their fundamental rights," said Jorge Canahuati, president of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA). , who protested this “new attack”.
Censorship covers even traffic accidents
The report on “Violations of Press Freedom” corresponding to the month of June 2022, prepared by Voces del Sur, confirmed new restrictive actions by the Nicaraguan government against the independent press, including the denial of coverage of traffic accidents.
The report documented seven alerts and followed up on two alerts generated in 2021. In total, 67 cases of press freedom violations were documented.
He highlighted that the journalist Jacdiel Rivera, a correspondent for Channel 10 in the department of Madriz (north), was the victim of obstruction of his work when he tried to cover an alleged seizure of millions of dollars and when trying to record images of a traffic accident.
"In the 21st century, it is inconceivable that coverage of traffic accidents is censored in Nicaragua," said Voces del Sur, whose report compiled cases of censorship, media closures, harassment, and immigration restrictions on journalists during the month of June.
"We regret the increase in forced exiles and demand that the State safeguards the integrity of those who remain in the country by carrying out brave, ethical, and humane journalism," the document said.
Read the report at the following link.
Gioconda Belli: Daniel Ortega seeks to "control everything"
The poet and novelist Gioconda Belli, president of the closed PEN Nicaragua center, reiterated her condemnation of the recent closure of the Nicaraguan Academy of Language, to which she belonged, and other civil organizations, and assured that the objective of the Daniel Ortega regime is “control everything”.
“Control everything, that is what they seek: not to leave loopholes that allow society the independence to organize itself autonomously and function for its own purposes. It is a government very concerned about the use that the Nicaraguan people would make of their freedom. That is why they prevent them from having it,” Belli said in an interview with the Uruguay PEN Center.
When asked about if the distinction of Illustrious Visitor of Montevideo, granted to Ortega when he visited the Uruguayan capital in 2008, should be maintained, he stated. "It's not up to me to decide that, but anyone who documents what has happened in Nicaragua since 2018 will realize that the awarded man is now a bloodthirsty dictator who was no longer seen in Latin America decades ago."
Read the interview here.
*In other news*
18 Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa of Calcutta were expelled.
A delegation of 18 nuns from the order of the Missionaries of Charity was expelled from Nicaragua on July 7 to Costa Rica, in vehicles escorted by the Immigration police.
The religious delegation was forced to leave Nicaragua after the inexplicable closure of the association, founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Nicaragua in the 1980s, during the first Ortega government.
In an interview granted to the Sir agency, the missionaries were surprised by the decision and the order to leave the country immediately: “We never did any political activity. Our thought has always been to serve the poor. Of course, the country is suffering, especially the Church, which is persecuted. There is no freedom, but the economic situation is also difficult, and more and more jobs are lacking," they said from Costa Rica, where they were received by the bishop of Tilarán-Liberia and then found accommodation in the house of the Missionaries of Charity of San Jose.
The government tried to prevent journalistic coverage of this event, and in retaliation, the Police persecuted the team from the newspaper La Prensa that accompanied the nuns to the border of Peñas Blancas (south).
Government prevents the entry of "Caravana por la vida” (“Caravan for life").
One day after the delegation of nuns was expelled, the government prevented the entry of a delegation of nine deputies from Latin American left-wing parties who wanted to verify the situation of the almost 190 political prisoners who remain in different prisons in the country, 180 of them arrested after the 2018 protests.
Mariano Rosa, coordinator of the so-called "Commission for the life and freedom of political prisoners in Nicaragua," said that the country's police mobilized some 300 troops to the border to block their passage when they tried to enter from the Peñas Blancas customs port, Costa Rica.
"They mounted a huge military operation of police and paramilitaries, in an intimidating and threatening attitude," Rosa denounced. "With this action, the government shows that it is a dictatorship," added the leftist legislator.
The rest of the deputies who tried to visit the country belong to leftist parties from Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama. The delegation announced that it will start a campaign to "denounce to the world the violation of human rights" by the Ortega and Murillo government.
Police occupy facilities of Humboldt Center and La Corriente.
That same Friday, the police occupied the facilities of the environmental group Humboldt Center and the feminist non-governmental organization La Corriente. Both organizations were closed in March and May of this year, respectively, as part of the closure of almost 900 NGOs, the vast majority during the last year, of the almost 6,000 non-profit associations in the country.
"'Clearly, the cancellation of our legal status and the seizure of our facilities is an illegal act that violates freedom of association,'" La Corriente denounced. •