Nicaragua editor detained in latest move seen to target president’s critics

August 15, 2021 People's Journal 149 views

AFP, AUgust 14, 2021 — A top editor of Nicaraguan daily La Prensa was jailed Saturday after police raided the newspaper, making him the latest of dozens of critics of President Daniel Ortega to face arrest.

Juan Lorenzo Holmann was taken to a Managua jail, allegedly to sign documents, his cousin and fellow journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro said on Twitter.

Hours later, police confirmed Holmann’s arrest, saying in a statement that he was being investigated for customs fraud and money laundering.

They said the case was being turned over to authorities “for prosecution and to determine criminal responsibilities.”

With presidential elections now three months away, Holmann’s arrest brought to 33 the number of Ortega opponents in detention.

They include La Prensa’s vice president Cristiana Chamorro, whose family owns the paper. She is one of seven presidential hopefuls now being held.

Ortega, a 75-year-old former guerilla, first took office in 2007 as part of the left-wing Sandinista National Liberation Front. He is now seeking a fourth term.

His government faces sanctions from the United States and the European Union, which accuse him of humans rights violations and the repression of opposition figures.

Ortega, in turn, has accused the opposition of trying to overthrow him with US support.

Holmann’s arrest came a day after he announced the suspension of the paper’s print edition, blaming customs authorities for refusing to release imported newsprint, a charge the government denies.

La Prensa is continuing to provide a digital edition. It is Nicaragua’s only nationally circulated newspaper.

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