The newspaper La Prensa denounced that the regime of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua advanced with the confiscation of the building and other assets after years of persecution against the country’s main newspaper, critical of Sandinismo.
“The facilities of the newspaper La Prensa woke up this Tuesday, August 23, without the sign that had the name of the oldest newspaper in the country, and which was a benchmark at the northern entrance of the Nicaraguan capital,” said that medium, founded on August 2. March 1926, and which has been occupied by the Police since August 13, 2021.
“With this action begins the circus that the Ortega Murillo dictatorship will carry out this Tuesday, August 23, to make official the theft of goods from the Editorial La Prensa industrial plant, located at kilometer 4.5 of the north highway, Managua, valued at close to 10 million dollars”, pointed out the newspaper, which is now only published digitally.
According to that newspaper, the Sandinista government ordered the removal of the La Prensa sign that was at the entrance of the building and summoned “its media for a press conference on an act of installation of the José Coronel Urtecho Cultural and Polytechnic Center.”
The newspaper La Prensa, the oldest in Nicaragua and critical of the Government of Daniel Ortega, had denounced yesterday that the Nicaraguan authorities carried out a “de facto confiscation” of his assets, a year after the National Police forcibly occupied his facilities and arrest its general manager, Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro.
“For several days, regime operators have been carrying out construction works and moving some of the machinery and equipment. With these actions, the Ortega Murillo regime specifies the de facto confiscation of the assets of the Editorial La Prensa industrial plant,” reported the media outlet, which is now only published digitally.
According to La Prensa, whose editorial staff was forced into exile last July after the arrest of two employees, their assets “at the time of the confiscation had a value close to 10 million dollars.”
“The Ortega Murillo regime is trying to put an end to 96 years of history of the dean of national journalism, dismantling the campus that houses it,” said the most emblematic media outlet in Nicaragua.
The facilities of La Prensa, located in an industrial area in the north of Managua, have been in the hands of the National Police since last August 13, when the Nicaraguan authorities alleged that the outlet was allegedly used to commit crimes of “customs fraud, laundering of money, goods and assets”.
Last April, Holmann Chamorro, nephew-in-law of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who defeated Ortega in the 1990 elections, was sentenced to nine years in prison for the crime of “money laundering.”
La Prensa maintained that among the confiscated assets are a rotary printer worth 2.01 million dollars and a commercial printing press worth 3.89 million dollars, with the capacity to print, bind or glue, “books, brochures, flyers, and any other printed material, including ballot papers.”
“What use will you give to the machinery?” asked La Prensa, when there are less than three months to go before the municipal elections, for which it will be necessary to print specific electoral ballots for the 153 municipalities of Nicaragua.
The newspaper also insisted that the Nicaraguan Constitution prohibits confiscation, and that the State can only seize private property when those affected are compensated.
La Prensa’s complaint comes within the framework of the sociopolitical crisis that Nicaragua has been experiencing since April 2018 and that, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), has left at least 355 dead -of which Ortega has admitted 200- , more than 200,000 exiles, and 190 prisoners.
According to the Nicaraguan Independent Journalists and Communicators movement (PCIN), some 120 journalists, not including the person from La Prensa, have opted for exile since the beginning of the crisis.