The influential newspaper La Prensa, the oldest in Nicaragua, reported Monday that its printed version could disappear because the government of President Daniel Ortega has held their role for 75 weeks, so he asked the international community for support. survive
“The Press asks the international democratic community for support to survive,” wrote Luis Sánchez Sancho, editorialist for that newspaper, founded on March 2, 1926.
That newspaper appealed to the Inter-American Press Association (SIP), international human rights organizations, the Central American Integration System (SICA), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union, “to exhort or pressure the Daniel Ortega’s regime to respect international agreements “on freedom of expression and information.
“Make use of the international obligation. Don’t let La Prensa die!” Said the newspaper.
The editorialist said that La Prensa and Hoy, which belong to the La Prensa Publishing Group, are the last printed newspapers left in Nicaragua, but they could disappear “because the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega is strangling them without mercy.”
He warned, therefore, that the days of La Prensa “could be numbered.”
According to Sánchez Sancho, “killing La Prensa has been an old totalitarian delirium” of Ortega and the Sandinistas since they first governed Nicaragua, from 1979 to 1990
“Now, it seems that Ortega believes that the time has come to kill the Nicaraguan newspaper and in doing so would also kill an essential part of freedom of information,” he added.
The customs blockade maintained by the Nicaraguan State for 17 months of paper, ink and other matters to the La Prensa Publishing Group, which publishes the newspaper La Prensa and Hoy, as well as to the company ND Media, forced the closure of El Nuevo Diario, the second major newspaper in the Central American country.
El Nuevo Diario, the second oldest in Nicaragua, as well as the Rotary Metro and the digital media Maje, all owned by ND Media, of the Nicaraguan financial group Promerica, stopped circulating since late September due to economic pressure from the Government .
The paper retention also made the popular newspaper Q’Hubo, which also belonged to ND Media, disappear from the streets since December 2018.
The Sandinista Government, through the General Directorate of Customs, began to block raw materials since September 2018, five months after the socio-political crisis in which Nicaragua is immense, and according to the newspapers, “without any justification. legal or administrative. “
The Government, on the other hand, argues that the closure of newspapers is due to administrative, economic and credibility reasons, rather than the retention of newsprint.
The thesis of the Executive is that the main newspapers are paying the price to cover the anti-government demonstrations in a biased way, and therefore they have lost advertisers, subscribers and readers.
The UN Human Rights Office has criticized the situation that has led to the closure of press media in Nicaragua, and has cataloged it as a “violation of freedom of expression and of the press.”
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Special Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua (Meseni) and its Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression (RELE-IACHR) have also expressed their “great concern” over the closure of the newspapers and have reminded the Government of Managua that “the American Convention prohibits States from using indirect means to restrict the press.”