On Wednesday, September 25 at 6:30 p.m., the NPC’s International Correspondents Committee (ICC) and Press Freedom Team invites you to join an event on media suppression in Nicaragua. Fresh from testifying at the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR), a delegation of four Nicaraguan journalists – three of whom remain in exile – will discuss the country’s recent descent into violence and repression.
In April 2018, proposed changes to Nicaragua’s social security system sparked a series of street protests. Heavy-handed moves to repress the protests had the opposite effect, fanning the flames of dissent and leading to calls for President Daniel Ortega to step down. As journalists moved in to cover the growing opposition movement, many found themselves directly in the firing line – facing arrest by police and violence at the hands of pro-government militias.
The delegation of Nicaraguan journalists will talk about their experiences of reporting from the front lines, the tactics the Ortega government has used to brand the press as part of the opposition movement, the current state of the country and their hopes for the future. The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights is supporting each to attend the IACHR hearings and this special media event.
Carlos Fernando Chamorro is founder and editor of Confidencial. Carlos is currently in exile in Costa Rica following a police raid on Confidencial in December 2018. Police confiscated documents, phones, computers, and TV cameras in a bid to disrupt the magazine’s reporting. Carlos Fernando fled the country in January this year amid threats against him.
Lucía Pineda Ubau is news director at 100% Noticias. Lucía was arrested in December last year, accused of “incitement and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism and incitement of hate crimes.” She was released in June under the country’s controversial amnesty law and is now living in exile in Costa Rica.
Aníbal Toruño, who is currently in exile in Miami, is director and owner of Radio Darío. On April 20, 2018, pro-government mobs set fire to Radio Dario, badly damaging the station and forcing them to move to another location. Since then their offices have been raided several times by the Nicaraguan police.
Sergio León, owner and director of La Costeñisima, has remained in Nicaragua and has faced constant harassment, being detained by the Nicaraguan police on multiple occasions.
About the moderator:
Nicaraguan-born Maria Peña is a Digital Reporter for Telemundo, where she covers all issues affecting Hispanics, including immigration, trade, education, housing, voting, political empowerment, foreign policy, and, most recently, domestic terrorism at the border. She has worked in Washington journalism for more than 30 years but also travels abroad to cover major international stories such as Obama’s historic 2016 trip to Cuba. She is a frequent guest on major networks including Voice of America, Univision, CBC, CNN, and CGTN America. In 2017, she was named among El Tiempo Latino´s “100 Influential Latinos.” Maria is a member of the National Press Club.