a police raid targets the headquarters of the opposition daily “La Prensa”

Forced to suspend its printed edition for lack of paper, the editorial staff La Prensa sees its publication again hampered. Nicaraguan police raided the premises of the opposition daily on Friday August 13.

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In a statement, the national police said the leaders of the newspaper were under investigation for “Customs fraud and money laundering”.

Police officers surrounded and invaded the premises of the daily newspaper in the middle of the day. Journalists in the raid told social media that electricity and internet access were cut and newspaper servers shut down, and workers inside the building were banned from using their mobile phones.

Coverage of anti-Ortega protests

La Prensa, a national daily founded 95 years ago, does not spare its criticisms of power. He had announced the day before that he had to suspend his printed edition, his rolls of paper being held by customs.

In 2019, another national daily, Nuevo Diario, also had to suspend his activity for the same reason. The two newspapers had extensively covered the massive protests that erupted in 2018 against Daniel Ortega, which the latter had described as an attempted coup.

Daniel Ortega, who is running for a fourth consecutive term, is accused of getting rid of his competitors in the run-up to the presidential election on November 7. A total of 32 opponents, including seven potential presidential candidates, have been imprisoned or under house arrest since early June.

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According to the press union, at least 20 independent media have disappeared under the Ortega government, in power since 2007, following confiscation of materials or forced closures. Most of them have ceased their activities due to the political crisis the country has been experiencing since 2018 and the anti-government protests in which more than 300 opponents have died.

The World with AFP