Contributor Perspectives

What Happens When You Kill the Messenger in Nicaragua

Kyle Longley
Board of Contributors
Oct 23, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
A passerby picks up a copy of Nicaragua's La Prensa in Managua on March 25, 2019. The newspaper printed its cover in cyan, instead of black, with the headline, 'We are running out of ink, but not of news. The Civic Alliance will not negotiate an amnesty.'

A passerby picks up a copy of Nicaragua's La Prensa in Managua on March 25, 2019. The newspaper printed its cover in cyan, instead of black, with the headline, 'We are running out of ink, but not of news. The Civic Alliance will not negotiate an amnesty.' President Daniel Ortega's government is putting the pressure on opposition journalists, much like the Somoza regime did in the 1970s.

(MAYNOR VALENZUELA/AFP/Getty Images)

For many Nicaraguans, the maxim that today's oppressed becomes tomorrow's oppressor is ringing all too true. In December 2018, the United Nations' human rights chief, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, denounced the Nicaraguan government of Daniel Ortega, urging Ortega to "immediately halt the persecution of human rights defenders, civil society organizations [and] journalists and news organizations that are critical of the government." Since Ortega returned to office in 2007, he and his allies have grown increasingly authoritarian, especially in the last couple of years. During this time, his administration has come to rely more on the security forces to suppress dissent, leading to hundreds of deaths in 2018. Directly in Ortega's sights has been the media, particularly print journalists who frequently criticize the administration. Ortega has labeled them enemies and accused them of publishing "fake news," while his family has also bought television stations and other media outlets to try...

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