The Nicaraguan Police has raided and searched the headquarters of the opposition newspaper ‘La Prensa’ this Friday and has launched an investigation against the media for alleged “Fraud and money laundering crimes.”
According to the medium itself, the authorities have accessed its facilities at 12:20 pm (local time) and have held journalists and collaborators in solitary confinement and have cut off access to the Internet and servers.
An hour later, the Police has issued a statement in which it indicates that it has initiated a investigation against the company and its managers “For the crimes of customs fraud and money laundering to the detriment of the state of Nicaragua and Nicaraguan society.”
At this time, the search continues, although the Chief of Information, Fabián Medina, has indicated on his Twitter account that he is “fine” and that they have allowed him to “return to the offices” since what they are looking for is ” imported paper. ‘ The newspaper has shown images of the authorities loading and taking boxes from inside the facilities.
Just this Thursday, ‘La Prensa’ has denounced that they would stop circulating their paper copies Due to the fact that the General Directorate of Customs of Nicaragua keeps the raw material owned by the newspaper in custody.
Condemnations of the international community
Several countries and international organizations have reported that they are following the raid on ‘La Prensa’ and they have condemned this act by the Nicaraguan authorities.
First, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has condemned “the constant official persecution of the press in Nicaragua.”
Through his Twitter account, he recalled that “direct or indirect pressure aimed at silencing the work of the press affects democratic debate and is incompatible with the right to freedom of expression.”
The Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the US State Department has called on Ortega “to respect the freedom of expression of ‘La Prensa’ instead of acting to silence independent reports,” as indicated on Twitter.
Likewise, international organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) or Amnesty International have launched a similar message. The director of the Americas Division of the NGO HRW, José Miguel Vivanco, has considered on his Twitter that “Ortega has already destroyed any possibility of fair elections.” “If the international community does not react, Ortega will turn Nicaragua into a black hole,” he warned.
For its part, the international secretariat of Amnesty International in America has demanded “respect for the rights of the workers of ‘La Prensa'”. “We condemn this new attempt by the Government of Nicaragua to stifle press freedom in the country,” he said on his Twitter account.
The president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, seeks to be re-elected in the next elections on November 7, in which electoral framework a repressive wave is taking place against opposition formations, which has left more than 30 independent politicians and journalists detained in the last months.
The international community has denounced the situation in the country and, together with Spain, have called their ambassadors in Managua, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia for consultations, due to the lack of guarantees in this electoral process.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism