Nicaraguan journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro, a critic of Daniel Ortega’s government, announced on Sunday that he has decided to leave Nicaragua and seek refuge in Costa Rica, citing “extreme threats” against him.
“In the face of extreme threats, I have had to take the painful decision of going into exile to protect my physical safety and my freedom,” said Chamorro on his program Esta Semana, which airs on channel 12 in Nicaragua.
Chamorro, 62, reaffirmed his commitment to independent journalism and announced changes to his Esta Noche programs that will now be broadcast once a week instead of Monday through Friday.
Chamorro, the son of ex-president Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-1997), reminded his audience that since five weeks ago, the facilities of the Confidencial digital newspaper and television programs Esta Semana and Esta Noche, owned by him, have been occupied by the police.
The journalist, who has criticized President Daniel Ortega as a “bloodthirsty dictator” and accused him of maintaining power through terror, joins more than 55 journalists who have left Nicaragua citing threats to their safety. Most have moved to Costa Rica and the United States.
The Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation has recorded some 500 physical or verbal attacks and equipment seizures against journalists since anti-government protests began April 18 and left more than 320 dead, among them journalist Angel Gahona.
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