In Nicaragua, police raided the offices of the newspaper La Prensa
14th Aug, 2021
Nicaraguan police stormed the offices of La Prensa, the country's largest newspaper, which has been critical of President Daniel Ortega's administration. On the website of La Prensa, riot cops can be seen entering the facility and removing crates of materials. Journalists claim that during the raid, internet and electricity were turned off. The newspaper's managers are being investigated for customs fraud and money laundering, according to police.
During Friday's raid, personnel were not allowed to use their cellphones, according to Editor-in-Chief Eduardo Enrquez of the Reuters news agency.
In recent years, opposition to Mr Ortega, who is presently completing his fourth term in office, has grown. Anti-government protests rocked the country in 2018, but they were met with a harsh police crackdown. Hundreds of people were killed and others were injured in clashes between demonstrators and security forces and pro-government militia on one side and security forces and pro-government militia on the other.
The Chamorro family, one of Nicaragua's most powerful, owns La Prensa. Several of its members have been detained in recent months as they attempted to run for president in November's elections. Cristiana Chamorro, the 66-year-old vice president of La Prensa and the daughter of the late leader Violeta, who ended Ortega's first term in office when she won the presidential elections in 1990, is one of them. Opposition lawmaker Pedro Joaquin, Violeta's brother, has been arrested, while her other brother, notable Ortega critic and journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, has escaped to the United States.