Nicaraguan journalists have denounced the “siege” and “war” in Central America, where they have confirmed that free reporting is “criminalized”, which could negatively affect the general election next November. “We are in an important year because there are elections, this conflict must be resolved in Nicaragua, there are 197 days before the election, we are still under siege,” said Douglas Korkach, a journalist from that country, during a meeting organized by the Inter-American Society yesterday. Press Office (SIP).
At the “Government Repression in Nicaragua” group held on the last day of the IAPA’s two – year meeting, various experts urged the Latin American media to open up information about Nicaragua.
“What can the international community expect from what is happening in Nicaragua when (President Daniel) Ordega refuses to comply with the demands of international organizations?” Kerke asked.
“I’m going to be frank: the region has seen on other occasions how organized the international community is, and regional leaders need to accept their leadership,” said Antonia Urrezola, a spokeswoman for the US-US Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
“As a commission we are very concerned because the police state has intensified in recent weeks and there is a mass repression of the dead in a country,” he said. “It is difficult to hold free elections when there is no possibility of being informed and discussing alternatives with respect,” he said.
Two periods of “orthography”
Cristiano Zamoro of the Violeta Barrios de Zamoro Foundation and Carlos Fernando Zamoro, on behalf of the Confidential newspaper, described how the Ordega government has confiscated the media in recent years and enacted laws that violate freedom of information.
“When we were in the war, I was in the press. Harassment of journalists is not as criminal as it is now; now they are arresting and killing you; now increasing is the war against all public liberties,” the journalist explained, referring to Ortega’s first Sandinista government (1979-1990).
“I did not see so much criminal repression against journalists at this time in the 1980s,” the director of the foundation stressed, supporting nearly two dozen small independent media outlets, mainly digital.
Last January, however, the trust had to close its doors to avoid registering as a “foreign agent” with the Interior Ministry. “After nearly 20 years of work, we were forced to close because they called us traitors to the homeland,” Zamoro explained, pointing out that these moments were “training” about 60 journalists to get “citizen votes.”
Chamorro said he was ready to “serve Nicaragua on the nomination” ahead of the Nov. 7 election. “Nicaragua is divided into two blocks, and I will not include any of them,” he said.
“Hope” is in digital media
Carlos Fernando Zamoro, who was deported to Costa Rica after his founding newspaper Confidential, was tested in 2018 to turn it into a “health clinic”, saying “the Nicaraguan press is a barrier to public intelligence despite its good investigative journalism.”
“People with their cell phones became contributors to the traditional media (…). I returned to the ground from deportation,” the journalist commented, presenting the IV Gaza USA Catalonia Prize for Freedom of Expression in Ibero-America in 2009 and the Maria Moores Cabot Prize the following year.
He notedThe Cyber Crime Act, which imposes up to 10 years in prison on citizens convicted of cyber crimes against the security of the state. “This is a serious, threatening law, not just against journalists. There is a difference in Nicaragua, and the restrictions that exist in Cuba and Venezuela (for the digital media) are not imposed,” the journalist who opened the digital version of Confidential argued.
“Our site is online all the time, we are on Skype and YouTube. Obviously, there are troll farms, but we have places in social networks and technologies. I hope that even through that cybercrime law we can protect our digital media, ”he said.
The journalist denied the official version of the 180 people killed by Govt-19 since the outbreak began. “The truth is, more than 9,000 people have died. We investigated, ”he pointed out.
“We need international newspapers to come to Nicaragua. Ortega will not leave. There will be no international visitors. On November 7, Nicaraguan newspapers will be monitored along with the international press,” Zamoro warned.
The IAPA condemned the Nicaraguan government for enforcing legislation regulating foreign agents “criminalizing the actions of organizations dedicated to overseeing and promoting freedom of expression,” as stated in the resolution dedicated to the Central American nation.
With information from EFE