Miami (February 5, 2021) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed its solidarity with the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation of Nicaragua, which announced today the suspension of its operations, after refusing to continue activities under the control of a recent law approved by the Daniel Ortega regime.
"This new blow against freedom of expression, leaves Nicaragua without one of its most powerful voices in favor of free journalism and freedom of expression, and we understand the arguments of the organization to make this difficult decision," lamented the president of the IAPA, Jorge Canahuati, and the president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet.
"We stand in solidarity with the Foundation, an organization that has demonstrated its commitment to freedom of expression and of the press, becoming for more than 20 years an indispensable reference on what is happening in Nicaragua", highlighted Canahuati, from Grupo Opsa, Honduras and Jornet, from the newspaper La Voz del Interior, Argentina.
The controversial Law for the Regulation of Foreign Agents, approved last December, seeks to "control financial operations and activities carried out by associations, national or foreign organizations to put an end to foreign interference in the internal affairs of Nicaragua." The new statute requires registering as a "foreign agent" and declaring any donation received, which must be approved by the Ministry of the Interior. The deadline for registration expired on February 5.
The IAPA authorities expressed their confidence that the Foundation (Fundación Violeta Barrios de Chamorro de Nicaragua in Spanish) can soon resume its activities in favor of the Nicaraguan people. They also indicated their fear that similar restrictions, could be imposed in other countries, as at the time also existed in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.