73rd General Assembly
Salt Lake City, Utah
Democracy has suffered a serious setback throughout the 10 years since 2007 that Daniel Ortega has been in power. Press freedom was severely restricted through the government monopolization of news media, pressure on the few independent media and the shutdown of access to all the government's sources of information.

All the branches of government were made subordinate to the Executive Branch.

Legal security was replaced by a dictatorial and discretionary power that recognizes, distributes or denies constitutional rights.

There were no more free and clean elections. There no longer exists the principle and norm of democratic alternative choice, while the Army and Police were required to "return to their Sandinista origins."

Municipal governments and public universities lost their constitutional autonomy.

The opposition was divided and devastated and a good part of it made illegal and excluded.

The civil society organizations were deprived of external cooperation – through pressure by the government on volunteers – harassed and weakened.

Education lost its national character and its humanistic and scientific sense to become a medium of indoctrination of children, teenagers and young students.

The worsening of press freedom in this period was reflected in the following events:

The Law on Access to Information has become a dead letter, as it is not in the least complied with. None of the branches of government, nor the autonomous bodies, give information to the independent media. Independent journalists are prevented from entering press conferences and other government acts, even if they are to announce measures preventive of catastrophes, acts to celebrate national holidays or inaugurations of public works.

There exists a control of most of the news media, through a television and radio duopoly. There exists only one open channel and some two cable channels that are not controlled or neutralized by the government of the president's family.

The autonomous bodies or the companies that the government manages do not assign advertising to independent media, except for small announcements that they publish for bidding in conjunction with multilateral financial institutions.

Other important events:

On April 3 the radio program "Onda Local" that is broadcast on Radio La Primerísima, was shut down on the orders of that radio station. It had begun being broadcast in 2000, was on the air for 17 years as an independent program to inform and generate debate regarding municipal problems from the perspective of its players. The decision was understood to have been influenced by the government.

On May 16 La Prensa published statements by the administrative secretary general of the Judicial Branch, Berman Martínez. In reprisal, the Court prevented La Prensa journalist Martha Vásquez Larios from entering the judicial complex. A magistrate and the spokesman of the Judicial Branch accused the newspaper of a defamatory and misogynist campaign against the female president of that branch, Alba Luz Ramos, that they have the right to defend themselves and that they cannot "give facilities for us to be stabbed in our own home."

For the celebration of the national holidays the internal security staff of the Education Ministry prevented the La Prensa team from conducting interviews with the authorities and denied it the press release given to other media.

Congressman of the governing party FSLN, Mario Valle, threatened La Prensa journalist Lucía Navas when she asked him why in the amendment to the 2017 budget there was assigned 300,000 córdobas (about $10,000) to the private University of Managua, of which he is the president and his wife the rector. "Are you a CIA agent?" "How much does the Embassy pay you?" "You are taping and you have not asked for permission" the congressman said, adding that if the journalist were a man he would give him a different answer.

The party whip of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), Congressman Edwin Castro, justified the funding saying that it was not for the university but to broadcast on television the program "La Liga del Saber" (The Knowledge League), in which government propaganda is made.