Miami (August 12, 2021).- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) once again criticized "the hostile attitude and anti-freedom of the press attitude" of the government of President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua. The organization reacted after Ortega ordered administrative measures to obstruct and block the supply of newsprint and other production supplies for the Managua-based daily La Prensa.
The newspaper ran out of paper and cannot continue circulating nationwide. The Customs General Office (DGA) has withheld the newsprint shipments and has not responded to several letters and messages sent by the executives of La Prensa. This is a repeated retaliatory practice against the newspaper. For more than a year, between 2018 and 2019, the government had already maintained a similar customs blockade, which affected the company that also publishes the newspaper Hoy. That blockade also precipitated the closure of the newspapers El Nuevo Diario and Q'Hubo.
"We condemn the hostile and anti-freedom of the press attitude of the government of Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, who are betting on economic suffocation and the constant attacks against journalists and the media," said IAPA President Jorge Canahuati, CEO of Grupo Opsa, from Honduras.
"We reiterate our support for the independent Nicaraguan press in the midst of the social and political crisis, and we urge international organizations to speak out continuously and energetically against the repressive escalation and the persecution of the press and opposition leaders," said the president of the IAPA Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, director of the Argentine newspaper La Voz del Interior.
At the beginning of July, the IAPA carried out a virtual mission to Nicaragua with journalists, media executives, opposition leaders, academics, businesspersons, representatives of civil society and the Catholic Church. At the end of the interviews, the organization highlighted the restriction of the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of the press and the right to assembly, as well as the due process guarantee, which is observed in the arrests of pre-candidates for the Presidency, journalists, businessmen, peasants, students, opponents and critics of the regime.
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.