Near the first anniversary of the popular uprising that was drowned in blood by the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, the repression continues rampant and the dialogue that accompanies the Organization of American States and the Vatican is in distress.
Democracy dies in the land of lakes and volcanoes and, with it, independent journalism is also in extinction. This week, at the end of its semiannual meeting in Colombia, the Inter-American Press Association (SIP) demanded that the government of Managua release the journalists Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda immediately, who have been arrested since December without due process and, according to testimony from parliamentarians Europeans suffer inhuman treatment.
The case of Mora, director of the closed 100% News Channel of Managua, is particularly sensitive. A few weeks before his arrest, he had received the Grand Prize for Freedom of the Press during the 74th General Assembly of the IAPA, in Salta, in the name of independent journalism in Nicaragua. Pineda, in turn, is the only woman journalist imprisoned in the Western Hemisphere.
The IAPA also rejected the impunity in the murder of journalist Ángel Gahona, which occurred a year ago, and whose investigation was a montage to cover up those responsible. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted precautionary measures to Gahona's wife due to threats received for denouncing impunity. Since April 2018 there have been more than 700 attacks against the practice of journalism, most committed by the National Police, mobs and armed civilians adept at Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo. This persecution has forced 66 journalists to take refuge in exile, as the high commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, corroborated in her message to the SIP.
Last Saturday, hours after announcing the first agreements in the dialogue between the Government and the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, a supporter of Ortega attacked shots an opposition demonstration with the balance of three wounded. On Monday, the government also failed to comply with the agreement that would free customs for the printing of newspapers La Prensa and El Nuevo Diario. It is clear that the Nicaraguan government uses dialogue as a delaying tactic, without conceding an inch of space to the opposition. Regarding justice, he insists that the crimes perpetrated since April 2018 can be investigated by the police, one of the aggressors, or the National Assembly, totally controlled by frontmen of Ortega and his wife.
Also, the regime rejects the inclusion of the IACHR and the United Nations as guarantors of the peace agreements. Both supervisory bodies were expelled from the country last year, after blaming government forces for crimes against humanity. Given this situation, when the options for a rescue of democracy are reduced, the international community has an obligation to stand firm around the Nicaraguan people, who have sacrificed so much for their definitive liberation.
This editorial is published in media throughout the continent, in an agreement at the convening of the Inter-American Press Association