TODAY NICARAGUA – Police raided the La Prensa newspaper on Friday amid a wave of arrests of critics and rivals of president and candidate for re-election, Daniel Ortega, less than three months before the elections.
According to a report from the National Police, the directors of the newspaper are being investigated for “customs fraud and money laundering.”
The headquarters of the newspaper is under police guard.
Police entered the newspaper’s premises around noon, a day after the newspaper announced that it was suspending its print edition due to the “seizure” of paper by the customs service that controls the government.
Through Twitter, La Prensa announced that five police patrols of the Ortega regime arrived at the newsroom facilities, with officials and pro-government media present.
— LA PRENSA Nicaragua (@laprensa) August 13, 2021
Since June to date, authorities have detained 32 opponents, including seven possible rivals of President Ortega, in power since 2007.
The laws will be applied to “those who commit a crime, who lend themselves to launder money and then will hide the evidence of money laundering in a newspaper. There [evidence] has been found,” said president Ortega, during an anniversary ceremony of the army naval force.
Ortega, 75, accuses opponents of treason and promoting sanctions against the country. His government has been sanctioned by the United States and the European Union, accused of violating human rights and for repressing his critics since the outbreak of demonstrations against him in 2018.
At 7:20 am this Saturday, La Prensa reported “the taking” is now 19 hours since the raid on the newspaper began. “At this time the police are still inside the offices, there are no longer any workers. There is still no information on the secretary of the Board of Directors, Juan Lorenzo Holmann, who was transferred to the new Chipote to sign some documents,” reads the latest report online.