International journalists express deep concern over deteriorating press freedom climate in Nicaragua

"We call for the immediate release of Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda Ubau, and an end to actions designed to intimidate and shut down independent media"


248 journalists from around the world have signed their name to a letter to Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo expressing their deep concerns over the deterioration of freedom of the press and recent escalation of aggression against media outlets and journalistsin Nicaragua.

Daniel Ortega Saavedra, Presidente de la República de Nicaragua
Rosario Murillo Zambrana, Vicepresidenta de la República de Nicaragua
Presidencia de la República
Frente a Palacio Nacional
4 Calle Noroeste
Managua, Nicaragua 11001

January 7, 2019


To President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo:

We are journalists and press freedom advocates from Latin America and around the world who view recent developments in your country with deep concern. We write to express alarm over the recent escalation of aggression against media outlets and journalists covering civil unrest and documenting human rights abuses by police and paramilitary groups.

We strongly condemn the December raids on the offices of two major independent news outlets, and the detention of Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda Ubau, journalists from independent cable and digital channel 100% Noticias, on multiple anti-state charges. These latest anti-press actions occurred shortly before the Christmas holiday, when many in the international community might typically be distracted; however, they did not go unnoticed.

Mora and Pineda, arrested during a December 21 police raid on the 100% Noticias offices in Managua and rushed through court appearances with no access to legal representation, stand accused of crimes including “inciting violence and hate” and “promoting terrorism.” The government has not presented any evidence to date to support the charges against these journalists, who took a lead role in their channel’s critical reporting over the last eight months. More than two weeks after their arrest, both journalists remain in pre-trial detention, and their channel is still banned from broadcasting.

Just a week before the raid on 100% Noticias, riot police ransacked the Managua offices of independent news website Confidencial and two affiliated television programs, all led by renowned journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, and confiscated equipment and documents.

These are just the latest hostile acts capping off a year that saw dozens of attacks on the media, including the April 20 arson attack on Radio Darío in León and the April 21 death of reporter Ángel Eduardo Gahona, who was shot and killed on camera while reporting on protests in Bluefields.

The recent expulsion of two independent monitoring bodies set up by the Organization of American States (OAS) the day before one group was set to release a report on human rights violations during protests last spring is another disturbing example of your government’s disregard for transparency and international human rights norms.

We call for the immediate release of Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda Ubau, and an end to actions designed to intimidate and shut down independent media. The office of the president, which exerts control over almost all aspects of government, must order police to stop raiding newsrooms, return all seized equipment and documents, and allow news outlets to work without fear of violent reprisal, interference, or arrest.

We call on you to respect international guarantees for freedom of expression and to cease harassing the independent press. A free and independent media is vital to the functioning of a healthy democratic society, in Nicaragua and throughout the Americas.


  1. Abbas Milani — Director of Iranian Studies, Stanford University, USA
  2. Adela Navarro Bello — Editorial Director, ZETA Magazine, Mexico
  3. Adriana Carrera — Editor and founder / Editora y fundadora, La Familia de Broward, USA
  4. Adriana García — Projects director, Spaceship Media, USA
  5. Alan Riding — Former New York Times correspondent for Mexico and Central America, Paris, France
  6. Alan Rusbridger — Journalist and author, Former editor-in-chief of the Guardian, UK
  7. Alberto Salcedo Ramos — Journalist and author, Bogotá, Colombia
  8. Alejandra Conti — Journalist, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  9. Alejandro Meléndez — Journalist, Mexico
  10. Alex Grijelmo — Author, Director of UAM-EL PAÍS School of Journalism, Madrid, Spain
  11. Alícia Ortega-Hasbun– Investigative reporter, Vice President of Grupo SIN/ El Informe, Dominican Republic
  12. Alma Guillermoprieto — Journalist and author, Mexico/USA
  13. András Kepes — Author, Professor of Media at Budapest Metropolitan University, Hungary
  14. Ann Grimes — John S. Knight Journalism Fellow alum, Stanford University, USA
  15. Anuška Delić — Investigative journalist, Oštro/OCCRP, Slovenia
  16. Barbara E. Allen — Journalist, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  17. Barbara Maseda — Proyecto Inventario, Cuba
  18. Bastian Obermayer — Head of Investigations, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany
  19. Benjamin Petit — Co-founder, Dysturb, France
  20. Beth Daley — Journalist, Boston, USA
  21. Beth Duff-Brown — John S. Knight Journalism Fellow alum, Stanford University, USA
  22. Dr. Bill Birnbauer — Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University, USA
  23. Bill Gentile — Journalist in Residence, American University, USA
  24. Blaž Zgaga — Freelance journalist, Slovenia
  25. Bob Drogin — Los Angeles Times, USA
  26. Bobby Block — Watchdog Editor, Florida Today, USA
  27. Borja Echevarría — Managing editor, El País, Madrid, Spain
  28. Brenda Payton — Newspaper columnist (retired), USA
  29. Bruce Brown — Executive Director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), USA
  30. Carlos Dada — Director, El Faro, El Salvador
  31. Carlos Eduardo Huertas — Director, CONNECTAS
  32. Carmen Aristegui — Journalist, Mexico
  33. César Ricaurte — Director, Fundamedios, Ecuador
  34. Chanda Chisala — President, Zambia Online, Zambia
  35. Charles Lewis — Executive Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop, American University, Washington, D.C., USA
  36. Cheryl Devall — Independent wordslinger, storyteller and editor, USA
  37. Chloe Veltman — Reporter, KQED, San Francisco, USA
  38. Chris Vail — Photographer, USA
  39. Christian Zurita Ron — Editor, Mil Hojas, Ecuador
  40. Christy George — Independent public radio editor, Portland, Oregon, USA
  41. Colleen Barry — Milan correspondent, Associated Press (AP), Italy
  42. Cristian Alarcón — Journalist and author, Revista Anfibia, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  43. Cristóbal Peñafiel Vaca — Journalist, El Universo, Ecuador
  44. Daniel Coronell — President, News, Univision, Miami, USA
  45. Daniel Santoro — Investigative journalist and courts editor/Periodista de investigación y editor del equipo de judiciales, Clarín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  46. David Dow — CBS News correspondent (retired), CBS News, USA
  47. David Sarno — CEO, Lighthaus Inc., San Francisco, USA
  48. David Schrieberg — CEO and co-founder, VitalBriefing, Luxembourg
  49. Dean Starkman — Senior Editor, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Hungary
  50. Doug Stone — Communications consultant, Program Director of the World Press Institute , USA
  51. Drew Sullivan — Editor, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP),
  52. Sarajevo/Bucharest/Tbilisi/Washington
  53. Edouard Perrin — Investigative reporter, Premières Lignes Télévision, France
  54. Emilia Delfino — Deputy editor at Diario Perfil/Subeditora Diario Perfil, Argentina
  55. Emilia Díaz-Struck — Research Editor and Latin American Coordinator, International
  56. Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Venezuela
  57. Emilio Palacio — Journalist, Ecuador
  58. Ergun Babahan — Editor and columnist, Turkey
  59. Eric V Tait, Jr. — Co-Host/Producer, Media Watch, former 20/20 Producer (ABC Network TV News), USA
  60. Dr. Erich Vogt — University of Toronto, Canada
  61. Erick Muñiz — Journalist, La Jornada/AFP/ABC Noticias, Monterrey, Mexico
  62. Ernesto Aroche — Journalist, Lado B, Puebla, Mexico
  63. Ernesto Cortés Fierro — General editor, El Tiempo, Bogotá, Colombia
  64. Ernesto Tenembaum — Journalist, Radio con Vos, Infobae, El País, Argentina
  65. Fabián Werner — Director, Sudestada, Uruguay
  66. Felyx Márquez — Journalist, Mexico
  67. Fernando Rodrigues — Publisher, Poder360, Brazil
  68. Florencia Coelho — Lawyer, New Media Research and Training Manager, La Nación, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  69. Francisco Goldman — Journalist and author, USA
  70. Frederik Obermaier — Investigative reporter, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany
  71. Fredrik Laurin — Investigative Editor, SVT, Swedish Public Television, Sweden
  72. Gábor Szabó — Journalist, Budapest, Hungary
  73. George Kennedy — Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri School of Journalism, USA
  74. Germán Rey — Researcher and professor, Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el
  75. Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Bogotá, Colombia
  76. Gilberto Lastra — Journalist, Mexico
  77. Glenn Frankel — Independent Author, former Washington Post journalist, 1989 Pulitzer Prize winner, USA
  78. Go Kawasaki — Independent journalist, Japan
  79. Gordon Earle — Associate Dean, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, USA
  80. Guilherme Amado — Vice-president, Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) Brazil
  81. Guillermo Culell — Grupo Clarín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  82. Gumersindo Lafuente — Deputy director,, Madrid, Spain
  83. Gustavo Gorriti — Director, IDL-Reporteros, Peru
  84. Harriet A. Washington — Author, independent lecturer, Columbia University, USA
  85. Harry Karanikas — Investigative reporter,, Greece
  86. Héctor Feliciano — Journalist and author, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico
  87. Henrietta Grant-Peterkin — former Knight Fellow, Stanford University, Scotland
  88. Hernando Álvarez — Global Content Hub Editor, BBC, London
  89. Hisham Allam — Investigative Reporter, Egypt
  90. Hugo Alconada Mon — Journalist, Argentina
  91. Ignacio Escolar — Director,, Madrid, Spain
  92. Inday Espina-Varona — Journalist, Former chair of National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Philippines
  93. Iqbal Athas — Political Editor, The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka
  94. Dr. Istvan Wisinger — Communications professor, former President of the Association of Hungarian Journalists, Hungary
  95. Ixchel Cisneros Soltero — Journalist, Mexico
  96. Jacobo García — Journalist, El País, Mexico
  97. Jaime Abello Banfi — Director, Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Cartagena, Colombia
  98. James F. Savage — Investigations editor (retired), Miami Herald, Ft. Lauderdale, USA
  99. James R. Bettinger — Director Emeritus, John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships, Stanford University, USA
  100. James Risser — Director Emeritus, John S. Knight Professional Journalism Fellowships, Stanford University, USA
  101. Janet Rae-Dupree — Freelance innovation journalist, Unboxed Media, USA
  102. Javier Darío Restrepo — Journalist, FNPI Ethics Program director, Fundación Gabriel García
  103. Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Bogotá, Colombia
  104. Jean Cano — Journalist, Ecuador
  105. Jefferson Morgan — Journalist (retired), The Tribune and the Guardian, USA
  106. Jennifer Donovan — John S. Knight Fellow, Stanford University, USA
  107. Jeremy Hay — Independent journalist, USA
  108. Jerry Bier — Retired reporter, Fresno Bee, California, USA
  109. Jerry Jay Carroll — Author, journalist (formerly San Francisco Chronicle), USA
  110. Joan Úbeda — Producer, Mediapro, Barcelona, Spain
  111. Joanna Kiernan — Artist in Time Pictures, Los Angeles, USA
  112. João Pina — Freelance photographer, Lisbon, Portugal
  113. Johannes Kr. Kristjansson — Editor, Reykjavik Media, Iceland
  114. John Carlin — Journalist and author
  115. John Hansen — President of the Danish Federation for Investigative Journalists (FUJ), Senior investigative reporter, Politiken, Denmark
  116. Jon Lee Anderson — Staff writer, The New Yorker, USA
  117. Jonathan Kamman — National reporter (retired), The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, USA
  118. Joseph Neff — Investigative reporter, The Marshall Project, USA
  119. Joseph Poliszuk — Editor-in-chief and co-founder,, Venezuela
  120. Juan Carlos Calderón Vivanco — Director, Plan V, Ecuador
  121. Juan Pablo Meneses — Journalist, Director, Escuela de Periodismo Portátil, Chile
  122. Judyth Hill — President PEN San Miguel Allende, Mexico
  123. Julia Preston — Contributing writer, The Marshall Project, USA
  124. Julia Stein — Vorsitzende/ Chairwoman, Netzwerk Recherche e.V., Germany
  125. Julie M. McCarthy — Southeast Asia Correspondent, Manila Bureau, National Public Radio (NPR), USA
  126. Juliette Garside — Investigations correspondent, The Guardian, UK
  127. June Carolyn Erlick — Editor-in-Chief, ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America, David
  128. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University, USA
  129. Jyri Hänninen — Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), Finland
  130. Karelia Vázquez Torres — Managing editor, Fashion & Arts Magazine, Spain/Cuba
  131. Karlijn Kuijpers — Investigative journalist, Platform Investico, The Netherlands
  132. Katherine Ellison — Independent journalist and author, USA
  133. Kathy Kiely — Lee Hills Chair in Free Press Studies, University of Missouri School of Journalism, USA
  134. Katie Palmer — John S. Knight Fellow, Stanford University, USA
  135. Keli Dailey — Adjunct, Saint Mary’s College of California, Creator News Hangover, San Francisco, CA USA
  136. Laura Weffer — Editorial Director, Efecto Cocuyo, Caracas/USA
  137. Leo Sisti — Investigative Reporter, L’Espresso, Italy
  138. Lou Dematteis — Former Reuters Photo Bureau Chief in Nicaragua
  139. Louis Freedberg — Executive Director, EdSource, Oakland, USA
  140. Luciana Villas-Boas — Journalist and literary agent, Brazil
  141. Lucina Kathmann — Honorary vice-president PEN San Miguel Allende, Mexico
  142. Lyas Hallas — Freelance journalist, Algeria
  143. Lynette Clemetson — Director, Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists and the Livingston Awards, University of Michigan, USA
  144. Magali Tercero — President, PEN Mexico, Mexico
  145. Dr. Marcel Metze — Editor-in-chief, The Investigative Desk, The Netherlands
  146. Marcelo Soares — Founder, Lagom Data, Brazil
  147. Marcos García Rey — Investigative reporter, El Confidencial, Spain
  148. Margarita Martínez Escallon — Journalist and documentary filmmaker, Colombia
  149. Margot Williams — Journalist, Washington DC, USA
  150. María de la Paz Vela — Economics editor/Editora Macroeconómica, Gestión, Ecuador
  151. María Emilia Martin — Director, Centro GraciasVida Para los Medios de Comunicación, Antigua, Guatemala
  152. María Jimena Duzán — Journalist, Semana, Bogotá, Colombia
  153. Mariana Santos — Executive Director, Chicas Poderosas, Portugal
  154. Mariel Fitz Patrick — Investigative journalist, Infobae, Argentina
  155. Marina Walker Guevara — Deputy Director, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)
  156. Marion Arathoon — Independent content consultant, India
  157. Martha Roldós Bucaram — Executive Director/Directora Ejecutiva, Fundación Mil Hojas, Ecuador
  158. Martín Caparros — Journalist and author, Madrid, Spain
  159. Mary Aviles — Journalist, USA
  160. Matilde Suescun — Journalist, USA/Colombia
  161. Merval Pereira — Columnist, O Globo, Brazil
  162. Mely Arellano — Journalist, Lado B, Puebla, Mexico
  163. Michael Bilton — Investigative journalist, UK
  164. Michael Montgomery — Senior Reporter-Producer, Reveal, USA
  165. Michael Nikbakhsh — Investigative journalist, Profil Magazine, Vienna, Austria
  166. Michael Rezendes — Investigative journalist, USA
  167. Mike Keefe — Editorial cartoonist, The Colorado Independent, formerly The Denver Post, Mexico
  168. Milagros Salazar Herrera — Investigative journalist and director of Convoca, Peru
  169. Milorad Ivanovic — Editor, BIRN Srbija, Serbia
  170. Minna Knus-Galán — Investigative journalist, Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), Finland
  171. Mohammed Komani — Data Editor, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), Yemen
  172. Mónica Almeida — Investigations editor/Jefe de Investigación, El Universo, Ecuador
  173. Mónica González — Director, Centro de Investigación e Información Periodística (CIPER), Santiago de Chile, Chile
  174. Natalie Southwick — Central and South America Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), New York, USA
  175. Nathalie Alvaray — Local Digital News Manager, Univision, Venezuela/USA
  176. Natka Buturovic — Journalist, Bosnia
  177. Nelfi Fernández Reyes — Journalist, El Deber, Bolivia
  178. Norma Trujillo Báez — Journalist, Mexico
  179. Ola Westerberg — Reporter, TT News Agency, Sweden
  180. Orville Schell — Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society, USA
  181. Pamela Yates — Skylight Pictures, USA
  182. Paúl Mena Mena — Investigative journalist, El Universo, Ecuador
  183. Paul Radu — Director, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), Romania
  184. Paulina Ríos — Journalist, Mexico
  185. Paulynn Paredes Sicam — Member, Women Writers in Media Now (WOMEN), Philippines
  186. Pedro Matías — Journalist, Mexico
  187. Pedro Zamora Briseño — Reporter, Proceso Magazine, Mexico
  188. Pelin Unker — Freelance journalist, Turkey
  189. Pete Carey — Journalist (retired), San Jose Mercury News, Palo Alto, USA
  190. Peter DiCampo — Co-President, The Everyday Projects, USA
  191. Peter T. Kilborn — Foreign and national correspondent (retired), The New York Times, Washington, DC, USA
  192. Rana Sabbagh — Executive Director, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ)
  193. Ray Choto — Senior Editor, Zimbabwe
  194. Raymond Bonner — Former New York Times correspondent in Central America
  195. Relly Davidson — Administrative Assistant for the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists (retired), Stanford University, USA
  196. Renata Cabrales — Journalist, Social media editor, Bogotá, Colombia
  197. Reyna Haydee Ramírez — Journalist, Mexico
  198. Ricardo Corredor Cure — Chairman, Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) board, Brussels, Belgium
  199. Ricardo Sandoval Palos — Investigations and longform editor, InsideClimate News, Washington DC, USA
  200. Rick Young — Producer/Director, PBS FRONTLINE, USA
  201. Rita Williams — Retired TV news reporter, Oakland, California, USA
  202. Robert Milliken — Freelance journalist, Sydney, Australia
  203. Robert Nickelsberg — Photojournalist, USA
  204. Roberta Oster Sachs — Former Stanford University Knight Professional Journalism Fellow
    Communications Director, Richmond, VA, USA
  205. Romina Mella — Journalist, IDL-Reporteros, Peru
  206. Rosa Santana — Journalist, Mexico
  207. Rosental Alves — Director, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, University of Texas at Austin, USA
  208. Rui Araújo — Special Assignment Reporter, Televisão Independente (TVI), Lisbon, Portugal
  209. Russell W. Skelton — Director, RMIT ABC Fact Check, Melbourne, Australia
  210. Sandra Bartlett — Independent investigative journalist, Toronto, Canada
  211. Sandra Crucianelli — Data journalist, Bahía Blanca, Argentina
  212. Sarah Shourd — Journalist and Former Hostage, USA
  213. Scott Wallace — Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Connecticut, USA
  214. Seema Yasmin — Director, Stanford Health Communication Initiative, Stanford University, USA
  215. Sergio Ramírez Mercado — Writer and former vice president of Nicaragua/Escritor y ex vicepresidente de Nicaragua, Managua, Nicaragua
  216. Sharon Dirlam — Staff writer (retired), Los Angeles Times, USA
  217. Sharon Salyer — Reporter, The Herald, USA
  218. Sol Lauria — Journalist, Argentina/ Panama
  219. Stephen Grey — Special correspondent, Reuters, UK
  220. Stephen Kinzer — Former New York Times bureau chief in Nicaragua, USA
  221. Stephen Proctor — Journalist (retired), USA
  222. Steve Bradshaw — Freelance journalist and filmmaker, UK
  223. Suman Pradhan — Former journalist, Nepal
  224. Susan Meiselas — Photojournalist, Magnum Photos, USA
  225. Susan Trausch — Columnist (retired), Boston Globe, USA
  226. Susana Morán — Journalist, Ecuador
  227. Susanne Reber — Executive editor, Reveal, USA
  228. Sven Bergman — Reporter, Sveriges Television (Swedish Public TV), Sweden
  229. Tania Molina — Journalist, La Jornada, Mexico
  230. Tania Tinoco — Journalist, Ecuador
  231. Tayyeb Afridi — Managing Editor, Tribal News Network, Pakistan
  232. Ted Glasser — Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication, Stanford University, USA
  233. Témoris Grecko — Documentary filmmaker, Colectivo Ojos de Perro vs. la Impunidad, Mexico
  234. Teresa Montaño Delgado — Journalist, Mexico
  235. Timothy J. Johnson — Reporter, former Latin America correspondent, McClatchy, USA
  236. Titus Plattner — Investigative reporter, Vice Chair of ICIJ’s Network Committee, Tamedia, Switzerland
  237. Tom Davidson — Director, product design and experimentation, USA TODAY Network/Gannett, USA
  238. Tom Van de Weghe — Foreign Correspondent, Belgian VRT, Belgium
  239. Umar Cheema — Special Investigative Correspondent, The News, Pakistan
  240. Vania Pigeonutt — Journalist, Mexico
  241. Vicente Ordoñez Pizarro — Journalist, former president of National Union of Journalists of Ecuador, El Universo, Ecuador
  242. Walter V. Robinson — Editor At Large, The Boston Globe, USA
  243. Warief Djajanto Basorie — Freelance journalist, Jakarta, Indonesia
  244. William B. Brown — Newspaper editor (retired), USA
  245. Xavier Bonilla (Bonil) — Editorial cartoonist/Caricaturista, Ecuador
  246. Yasuomi Sawa — Senior News Writer, Kyodo News, Japan
  247. Yevgenia M. Albats — Editor-in-Chief & CEO, The New Times, Moscow, Russian Federation
  248. Yi-Shan Chen — Deputy managing editor, Commonwealth magazine, Taiwan