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Nicaraguan Miss Universe and the Cost of Fame

The Nicaraguan Sheynnis Palacios, current Miss Universe, cannot return to Nicaragua and her family members had to go into exile, stated opposition media edited in Costa Rica on Sunday, citing a statement from the owner of the international contest.Palacios’s victory in November in San Salvador triggered the largest street mobilizations in Nicaragua since the 2018 protests, in which she participated and which shook the government of Daniel Ortega. Since her triumph, she has not returned to her country.

“Miss Universe owner confirms the departure of Sheynnis Palacios’s family from Nicaragua and the impossibility of her return to her homeland,” indicated the portal of the newspaper La Prensa, which is now edited in Costa Rica.”The exile of Sheynnis Palacios and ‘her entire family’ is ‘indefinite'”, pointed out the portal 100% Noticias, which also dispatches from the neighboring country.

Both media cited as their source an Instagram post by the Thai co-owner of the Miss Universe contest, entrepreneur Anne Jakrajutatip, but the version has not been confirmed by the Ortega government. After the coronation, Nicaraguan Vice President and Ortega’s wife, Rosario Murillo, claimed that opponents were manipulating her victory, highlighting that Palacios participated in the 2018 protests.

In a message for Mother’s Day, Jakrajutatip greeted Palacios and Nicaraguan entrepreneur Karen Celebertti, former owner of the Miss Universe franchise in Nicaragua, whom the Ortega government banned from returning after the contest in San Salvador.

Jakrajutatip wrote to Palacios: “You are brave, strong, and intelligent, but also very humble and work hard to take care of your mother and all the family who are now outside your homeland. “Miss Universe, whose mother has been residing in the United States for years, had said in January to a Mexican media outlet that she was trying to get her grandmother and brother out of Nicaragua so they could live with her abroad.

The grandmother and brother obtained a visa for the United States and left Nicaragua in April, according to opposition sources. The greeting to Celebertti says: “You made the first Miss Universe in your country, but the price of fame has a global impact where local leadership […] exiled all your family members, including our Queen, […] indefinitely.”

After the San Salvador contest, Celebertti’s husband and a son were imprisoned for two months and then expelled to Mexico. Additionally, the entrepreneur resigned from the Miss Universe franchise in Nicaragua.

The Nicaraguan police accused Celebertti and her family of “actively” participating in “terrorist actions of the failed coup attempt,” referring to the 2018 protests, which left about 300 dead, according to the UN.

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