Honduran Reporter Ejected from Nicaragua for Defending Priests

The journalist Kenia Lili Gonzalez was a candidate for deputy in the 2021 elections, in Honduras. Photo: Taken from El Heraldo

Kenia Lili González was near Managua when she was detained by patrols and returned to the Las Manos border post in Somoto.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The journalist and former candidate for deputy in Honduras, Kenia Lili Gonzalez Sanchez, was expelled from Nicaragua on Friday, August 4, 2023 for “defending” the persecuted Catholic priests in Nicaragua, denounced the victim in a video posted on her social networks.

According to the journalist, she entered Nicaragua through the Las Manos border post, where she was asked “quite peculiar” questions for presenting herself as a communicator, although she was allowed to continue her trip.

However, she was “some 20 or 30 kilometers from Managua” when immigration agents blocked her path and informed her that she must accompany them.

“They have sent me back in Immigration patrols to the Las Manos border, without giving me a single explanation. Obviously, I did not put up any resistance because we are talking about (several) male agents and only one woman,” the journalist said.

At the border post, they took her suitcase and took her to another room, while she waited for an explanation of what had happened. After several minutes, she was read a document in which they informed her “she was a person not well received by the Government of Nicaragua for posting publications in favor of Christians in Nicaragua.”

“I can defend the Christians of Nicaragua, I can defend the Christians of any country, because that is my religious criteria,” said Gonzalez.

“I do not agree with the persecution of priests in Nicaragua, but I never thought that I was a threat to the Government of Nicaragua, that is why I make a public complaint, because the reason for my expulsion is to defend the priests,” said the Honduran.

According to the journalist, it was not the first time she had visited Nicaragua, since she usually comes as a tourist because she is “passionate” about volcanoes and there are “some active and very beautiful volcanoes.” However, this time, Gonzalez would only stay three days because her destination country was Costa Rica.

“There is a regime installed in Nicaragua that unfortunately we all know how it works,” lamented the communicator.

Other Honduran journalists expelled

On Thursday, October 28, 2021, a team from the Honduran newspaper El Heraldo —a photojournalist, a driver and a reporter— entered Nicaragua through the El Guasaule, Chinandega border post, but upon arriving at Nicaraguan immigration, Captain Osman Sáez expelled them, even though they all met immigration requirements.

Saez took the journalist Carlos Giron to an office and requested his personal information, in addition to questioning him about his work in the newspaper and the reason for his visit to Nicaragua. The captain wanted to take the reporter’s phone, but he was prevented from doing so. The official wanted to make sure that he was not recording the conversation and told him that it was forbidden for him to do so, to turn it off, the communicator told Confidencial shortly after the incident.

At one point during the interrogation, an official appeared that Captain Saez identified as his “boss”, and he addressed the journalistic team and told them: “from this moment on, you are expelled from Nicaragua. Your presence is not welcome here, and —snapping his fingers—, said you are leaving now,” said Giron. The journalist further noted they said a file was opened that “vetoed” them from future visits to Nicaragua.  The authorities guarded and recorded them until they left.

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