• Costa Rica Real Estate Auction
  • Costa Rica Real Estate

La Prensa publishes blank front page to protest Nicaraguan government

January 21, 2019

La Prensa, Nicaragua’s oldest newspaper, had a blank front page this Friday for the first time in its 93 years. The special front page was protesting the government’s refusal to deliver imported ink and paper.

“Have you wondered about living without information?” This is the headline at the bottom of the blank page. The newspaper’s stationery and other supplies have been held up in Customs since September.

The newspaper released the following on its second page, which worked as a cover for the publication: “La Prensa Editorial has decided to release this publication today (Friday) which marks 20 weeks since the General Directorate of Customs began retraining raw material from our company that arrived in Nicaragua in September 2018.”

The newspaper, which has a critical approach towards Ortega’s government, reported that “customs blocking” risks their future publications and qualifies as a “threat to the freedom of speech and access to information of Nicaraguans.”

The seizure also affects the newspaper Hoy, a popular media outlet created in 2003 that’s also part of La Prensa Editorial group.

Daniel Ortega’s government hasn’t commented on the Customs retention of the newspapers’ essential materials.

A vendor selling newspapers holds an edition of "La Prensa" (R) which on January 18, 2019 published its cover in blank in protest against the refusal by the General Directorate of Customs (DGA) to hand over paper and ink imported by the Editorial La Prensa group, in Managua. Inti Ocon / AFP

La Prensa says that Customs has retained $132,000 worth of materials since September, including 92 tons of paper, printing plates, glue and photo developing equipment.

They stated that if the government does not deliver the material, La Prensa and Hoy will be forced to report exclusively through their digital platforms.

Nicaragua’s independent press has been under government siege for reporting on the protests against Ortega that started on April 18, 2018. According to humanitarian groups, the government crackdown on protests led to 325 deaths and more than 600 people arrested.

Two well-known journalists are among those arrested: Miguel Mora, the director of the closed private channel 100% Noticias, and its press director, Lucía Piñeda. According to humanitarian groups, both are being exposed to abuse in jail.

The Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation registered over 700 attacks against the press since the crisis began nine months ago.


This article was translated by Ariana Arguedas Bermúdez.

Join The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica.We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.

Support the Tico Times

You may be interested

FIFA president says Costa Rica could host World Cup, vows ‘never again’ to corruption scandals in soccer
Costa Rica
14 views
Costa Rica
14 views

FIFA president says Costa Rica could host World Cup, vows ‘never again’ to corruption scandals in soccer

AFP and The Tico Times - November 19, 2019

FIFA President Gianni Infantino on Tuesday called on world football to "never again" return to the corruption scandals that shook…

Pura Vida in Costa Rica: Part 2 of 3
Travel & Tourism
70 views
Travel & Tourism
70 views

Pura Vida in Costa Rica: Part 2 of 3

Ed Boitano / Travel Boy - November 19, 2019

Travel writer Ed Boitano recently spent some time in Costa Rica. He chronicled his experiences at the publication Travel Boy. …

Costa Rica turns to telemedicine for patients in rural areas
Costa Rica
25 views
Costa Rica
25 views

Costa Rica turns to telemedicine for patients in rural areas

Alejandro Zúñiga - November 19, 2019

Trauma patients in Costa Rica can now receive care from the country's specialized doctors in San José — even if…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!