Nicaraguan Journalist under Permanent Police Siege

Kalua Salazar: The daily functions of the police and riot squad include coming to besiege my house.”

The police harassment has been intense, Kalua denounces. “To the degree of insulting, brandishing arms, pointing a gun barrel into the porch. They’ve done this with my two-year-old daughter standing in the hallway.”

By Republica 18

HAVANA TIMES – Bluefields, Nicaragua journalist Kalua Salazar woke up on Friday morning to find the riot police surrounding her house. This repressive police tactic has become a permanent routine in the last three months. Her crime is being news director of the popular local radio station La Costeñisima.

The journalist told Republica 18 that she can’t even have breakfast in peace anymore. Just at the moment she’s preparing the food for herself and her daughter, the police patrols arrive. They then set up guard duty in front of her house.

“Apparently, after the police arrive at work and attend the morning formation, they receive orders to come to my house. Their mission seems to be perturbing the scant calm I have, and the little peace I can enjoy in my own home.”

After she was forced to go to court and found guilty of slander, the police harassment of Kalua Salazar increased. She has police around her home morning, noon and night, as well as in the early hours before dawn.

The worst thing, Kalua states, is that the police’s violent behavior is also increasing. “They’ve hurled insults and brandished their arms. They even went to the extreme of sticking a gun barrel through the iron grille that protects my home. They’ve done this with my daughter standing in the hallway. My daughter is only two years old. That’s totally unjust, and a violation of the rights of a child, and of mine.”

Kalua Salazar, journalist and news director of “La Costeñisima” radio station. Photo courtesy of Bluefields News.

Salazar believes the harassment and siege is aimed at infusing terror in her, so she’ll abandon her work as a journalist.

“They want to tire me out emotionally, physically, and economically with this business of court demands. I haven’t yet received any verdict on the appeal I filed. I don’t really know if they’re going to fine me the equivalent of 120 days of income, or of 300.”

On her social media page, the journalist complained that there’s an abundance of insecurity, crime and neighborhood problems. In these matters, she noted, the Police don’t act.

Salazar asserted that she’d continue denouncing the problems that citizens call in to express on the radio station. These include systematic human rights violations, where the Nicaraguan government and institutions are seen as responsible.

“I, Kalua Salazar can tell you, gentlemen… you’ll get wet and sunburned millions of times while you lay siege to my house. But unless you cut my tongue out (and you may be capable of that), I’ll continue denouncing you.”

Salazar was declared guilty last year in a trial considered flawed and arbitrary. Her supposed crime was slander, committed against three former employees of the Sandinista Mayor’s office in El Rama. Deyanira Traña, judge of the local Bluefields Penal Court, dictated a minimum sentence equivalent to US $220. Salazar appealed the sentence, but there’s still been no definitive resolution.  

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.