La ONG Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation reported this Thursday that it recorded 20 attacks on press freedom in Nicaragua last August, and warned of a “repressive wave” in legal proceedings against independent journalists.
During the past month, 20 cases of press freedom violations were documented: 11 aggressions and attacks, six in access to information, and three judicial processes, according to the monthly monitoring and follow-up report of that NGO that bears the name of former president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997).
“Of the total number of registered cases, 14 were perpetrated against journalists and other workers; instead, six were carried out against the media,” he explained.
Of the 20 documented violations of freedom of the press, this NGO found that 80%, that is, 16 of them, were perpetrated by state agents10% by non-state agents, and in the other 10% the aggressors could not be identified.
Alert on “new repressive method”
Likewise, that Foundation warned that “It was evident to observe a repressive wave manifested in judicial proceedings against journalists” last august.
“We warn of this new repressive method used by the current government in its fierce attempt to intimidate and silence the information work of the independent press,” he warned.
The Foundation indicated that at least three communicators have been accused of the crime of libel and slander, although he did not identify them.
The journalist Kalua Salazar, press officer of the La Costeñísima radio station, and the communicators William Aragón, Elsa Espinoza and David Quintana have received complaints for libel and slander, according to the Independent Journalists and Communicators of Nicaragua (PCIN) movement.
On the other hand, the Foundation observed that “an adverse environment still persists, without any type of guarantees, so that men and women of the press can carry out their journalistic work without any type of obstacles” in Nicaragua.
“Attacks have escalated since July”
The report does not include the embargo on Channel 12 television, an unofficial media outlet from which the State claimed this week a alleged debt of 21 million córdobas ($ 607,990).
The State of Nicaragua has also kept the building where the television station operated since last December. 100% News, as well as the house where the digital magazines Confidencial and Niú and the television programs Esta Semana and Esta Noche ran, directed by Carlos Fernando Chamorro, son of former President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997), and both critics of the Government.
According to that Foundation, attacks against journalists and independent media, which increased after the massive protests against President Daniel Ortega in April 2018, have intensified since last July, when 30 were registered in a month, a higher number compared to the 52 reported in the previous three months.