Monday 20 September 2021

Before Night Falls in Nicaragua

Paying the bills

Latest

1,308 complaints about parties and agglomerations this weekend

QCOSTARICA - Police actions to enforce health regulations do...

ELON MUSK LAYS OUT WHEN TESLA WILL START RECEIVING BITCOIN

Following the series of accusations and backlash levelled against...

Top 3 Tips for Better Online Casino Security

The gambling industry has prospered over the years and...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction September 20: Plates ending in “1 & 2” CANNOT circulate

QCOSTARICA - For today, Monday, September 20, vehicles with...

Athleta women’s brand opened its first store outside North America in Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Gap Inc.'s Athleta brand announced the opening...

Carlos Alvarado: Vaccine retention ‘delays global solution and increases risk of new virus variables’

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado showed his...
Paying the bills

Share

Carlos Fernando Chamorro knew it. Or, at least, he suspected it: “With Daniel, one is always wrong. The most common mistake is to underestimate him, because in the end he always gets something out of any situation. We do not know what will happen this time, he has it difficult, but we must be alert, very alert.”

Special police in occupation of the Confidencial offices on December 14

He told me that a few months ago, while he and his team helped me to report for these pages about the Nicaraguan insurrection.

Chamorro is, probably, the most respected journalist in the country: several times, in various places, protesters told me that he should be the one leading a new democratic government; he, of course, said he did not even imagine it.

- Advertisement -

Chamorro has other ideas: he is a journalist and does journalism and that, when it is done seriously, will piss someone off. On Friday at dawn a police band sent by the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo invaded his newsroom, stole everything they could, broke what they did not, tried to instill fear.

Chamorro is undeterred; the following day he showed up at police headquarters to ask for explanations. What they gave him was another charge of infantry, more violence. Chamorro keeps talking; outside of Nicaragua few do.

In 2018, Daniel Ortega’s government has killed hundreds of people on the streets. It continues: the Nicaraguan government, its police, its henchmen, have already killed more than 500 people and the world looks on, in general, somewhere else. Against that silence, Carlos Fernando Chamorro and the entire editorial staff of Confidencial (a digital media), Niu and two TV programs for YouTube, Esta Noche (Tonight) and Esta Semana (This Week) rose up; because, now, their government tries to silence them.

This same weekend, in Venezuela, one of the oldest newspapers, El Nacional, announced that, after 75 years, it stopped printing: the government of Nicolas Maduro has a monopoly on the importation of newsprint and it gives it grudgingly to the media that do not pay homage. This is how—Prodavinci reported—since 2013, 66 of the 90 print media circulating in the country were lost. Here it goes again: in 2013 there were 90 newspapers printed in Venezuela, now there is only one third (27).

The methods are different, but the results try to be the same: shut up the dissident. The right—which sometimes is called, also, center-right—gains space in Latin America.

Some are surprised: they do not take into account that the help given to those extremely authoritarian governments, which for years many insisted on considering as “left”, went to military and paramilitary groups used to silence the media that tries to tell a story beyond the official versions.

- Advertisement -

It is hard. And the worst thing is that the reactions are scarce. Some organizations have protested—the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for New Journalism, on whose Advisory Council Chamorro and myself participate, and the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, among a few others, but in the big flows of opinion the issue does not appear.

It does not appear even in the media that could be concerned: Clarin (the largest newspaper in Argentina), for example, sent a journalist to Managua in these days because a rape scandal that shakes the Argentine press happened there nine years ago. In several articles, only once does it make a brief mention of the attack on Confidencial’s staff, casually and mistaking the name.

That silence is the most dangerous thing. Governments have always tried to silence other voices: they test, they try and if they do not find obstacles they advance. The most openly authoritarian governments do so with direct measures, such as denying newsprint or ransacking a newsroom; the most timid, with personal attacks such as the recent one by Trump against journalist Jim Acosta or of Alvaro Uribe against the documentarist Margarita Martinez. They are nuances that have some weight. But, in any case, the examples spread: if a government sees that another manages to silence without paying a high cost, it is likely to try the same.  

We must try to stop them: to try by all possible means to stop them. It is necessary to defend ourselves; to get together, to show solidarity: not to lose the few ways of expression that remain. In order for—good—journalism to make its contribution to public life, the public has to make its contribution to—good—journalism. Defend it as anyone can, sustain it. It is easy to look the other way; it is tragic to stop doing it when it is already too late.

- Advertisement -

*Martin Caparros is a journalist and novelist. His most recent book is the novel “Todo por la patria” (Everything for the Homeland). He was born in Buenos Aires, lives in Madrid and is a regular contributor to the New York Times in Spanish. This article was originally published in the New York Times in Spanish.

Source: Confidencial

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.

- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
Q24N
Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Covid-19 deaths skyrocket throughout September in Nicaragua

TODAY NICARAGUA – In the past week, a total of 329...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.