Many in Nicaragua Are Worried About Press Freedoms

Reporters and analysts claim that press freedoms in Nicaragua have suffered greatly in the past few years under President Daniel Ortega. A journalistic outfit has gone into exile and more than 120 journalists have departed Nicaragua. Over the summer, the government also revoked the licenses of at least 17 media outlets. One of the earliest newspapers in Nicaragua is La Prensa. Police searched its headquarters in Managua, the country’s capital, in 2021. Juan Lorenzo Holmann, the publisher, was held by police after they seized its printing equipment. Holmann was found guilty of money laundering by a court in March 2022.

 

The main journalistic union in Nicaragua is called Independent Journalists and Communicators of Nicaragua, and its director is Víctor Manuel Pérez. “2022 has been the worst year for independent media,” he declared. Pérez used Miguel Mendoza, a sports writer, as an example. Mendoza was sentenced to nine years in jail in February 2022. Mendoza was charged by the government with “acts that undermine the independence of Nicaragua.” Mendoza covered sports stories as well as politics and human rights. He had criticized the Ortega administration, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

 

The government agency that sets broadcasting regulations is called Telcor. Local radio and television stations were among the several media organizations whose licenses it revoked. A few have ties to the Roman Catholic Church, which Ortega claims is involved in conspiracies against the state. The government claimed that the media outlets had violated multiple legal statutes and that some of them had altered their broadcast frequencies in violation of the law. Among the stations that lost their licenses was Radio Darío, a partner of Voice of America. Its director, Anibal Toruño, said the government’s claims were unfounded and that the real goal was to “shut us up.

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