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Nicaraguan Designer Withdraws From Miami Fashion Week Amid Criticism Over President Ortega Connection

(Nbcmiami.com) Nicaraguan designer Shantall Lacayo said she will no longer participate in Miami Fashion Week following criticism over her relationship with the daughter of President Daniel Ortega, whose government is accused of suppressing protesters with deadly force.

Shantall Lacayo attends the Billboard Latin Music Awards at Watsco Center on April 27, 2017, in Coral Gables, Florida. Lacayo on Tuesday withdrew her participation from Miami Fashion Week.

Lacayo and Ortega’s daughter, Camila Ortega Murillo, are involved with the Nicaragua Designs organization, which is subsidized by the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute.

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Since April, more than 80 people have died in student-led protests against Ortega’s regime. Amnesty International on Monday said Ortega’s security forces have coordinated with paramilitary groups to violently suppress protesters.

As Wednesday’s event approached, many on social media lashed out at Miami Fashion Week for allowing Lacayo to participate due to her link to the Ortega Murillo family amid Nicaragua’s crisis.

As criticism mounted, Lacayo announced she would withdraw.

“I have reflected about my participation in the Miami Fashion Week 2018 and the confusions that have been generated around me,” Lacayo wrote in an Instagram post. “Due to the situation that my country is living in Nicaragua and before the wave of unfounded speculations, I decided, together with my team, to cancel my participation to which I had been invited to present my 2019 resort collection.”

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A Miami Fashion Week spokesperson confirmed that Lacayo formally withdrew from the event.

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