Monday 20 September 2021

Costa Rica Will Promote In International Forums Strategy To Protect Nicaragua Journalists

Acting foreign minister alleges that protocol is a response to the escalation of violence against the press in the neighbor country. On Thursday, Costa Rica deplored "the repressive escalation" in Nicaragua before the OAS

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The government of Carlos Alvarado is working on the development of a protocol to protect Nicaraguan journalists due to the recent repressive attacks against the independent press in that country.

Carlos Fernando Chamorro spoke to fellow journalists outside the Complejo del Centro Judicial de Managua days after the raid on the offices of his online newspaper Confidencial. Photo AFP

“We are developing a strategy because we are very concerned about the escalation of violence against independent journalists. Journalists are the professionals who die the most in the world for doing their work, defending freedom of expression and are intimidated, thus Costa Rica is proposing a strategy to seek support for journalists in Nicaragua,” said Acting Foreign Minister, Lorena Aguilar.

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“We should not forget that our president is a journalist and we are supporting him in developing a strategy that seeks to raise the voices of other groups on this issue,” Aguilar added.

The acting FM explained that the presentation of the protocol will take place in the coming weeks in some international forums such as the Organization of American States (OAS).

This initiative is part of a work plan that Costa Rica is developing to address part of the effects of Nicaragua’s political crisis. For this task, the Foreign Ministry formed a special group composed of eight people, including career diplomats and a representative of the Presidency.

In recent weeks, the offensive by the Daniel Ortega regime against the independent press has become more violent.

On Thurdsay (December 27), Costa Rica deplored “the repressive escalation” in Nicaragua and reminded that government “of its obligation to respect the human rights of all people, as well as the undeniable need to reopen dialogue” during a session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) chaired by the Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the OAS, Ambassador Montserrat Solano Carboni.

Earlier this month the radio station Radio Darío was taken off the air by the National Police, and its workers had to hide after being threatened by police.

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On December 14, without a court order, police raided the offices of the online newspaper Confidencial and the television programs Esta Samana and Esta Noche produced by journalist and owner of independent digital media, Carlos Fernando Chamorro.

But the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was the raid (again without a court order) on Friday, December 19, of the cable news television channel 100% Noticias and the arrest of its owner and director Miguel Mora and the stations press director, the dual citizen (Costa Rican and Nicaraguan) journalist Lucia Piñeda.

Mora’s wife, Veronica Chavez, also a journalist, was also arrested and released several hours later. Arrest warrants were issued for two 100% Noticias reporters, Jackson Orozco and Jaime Arellano.

The dual citizen Lucia Piñeda continued being held in Nicaragua’s infamous El Chipote prison accused of inciting terrorism and hatred. She will to trial on January 25

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100% Noticias has been very critical of the Ortega government in the last several months. Mora and Piñeda are being accused of instigating terrorist acts and inciting hatred.

According to a statement by the Ministerio Público de Nicaragua (Prosecutor’s Office), the “incitement to hatred and terrorist acts” was aimed at “attacking” the National Police and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

Mora and Piñeda currently linger in the infamous El Chipote prison

For Piñeda’s family, it is clear: “she is a victim of political persecution orchestrated from the highest levels of government”. All that her family knows is that she is getting support from other inmates and being subjected to interrogations.

A trial date of January 25 has been set for Piñeda.

Today Nicaragua reports Piñeda’s home was raided Friday night, one week after the raid on the television station. Lucía Pineda’s uncle, Alejandro Ubau, confirmed to journalists about the raid, committed by the National Police.

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