New Police Raid on Nicaragua Media Outlets

Carlos F. Chamorro: “The Truth is Under Assault”

In a rerun of December 2018, dozens of riot police raided the Esta Semana and Esta Noche recording studio on Thursday. They also stormed the former offices of the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The Ortega regime’s police raided this Thursday, May 20th, the recording studio of the Esta Semana and Esta Noche online TV programs, directed by journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro. The staff had temporarily settled in a small space in the Invercasa corporate center, after the raid and confiscation of their offices, as well as that of Confidencial, back in December 2018.  

Cameraman Leonel Gutierrez, a member of the Esta Semana and Confidencial team, was in the studio at the time of the assault and is being illegally detained.

“This is the second time that the dictatorship has launched a frontal attack against this media outlet, which was illegally raided at dawn on December 13, 2018, when they stole everything from us (…)”, denounced Chamorro, also director of Confidencial.

At approximately 9:00 this morning, riot police surrounded one of the towers of the Invercasa corporate center. An hour and a half later they began removing boxes and equipment from the recording studio. The Police provided no justification for the raid.

“We want to see Leonel Gutierrez, we want his release. At this moment he is being held, kidnapped by the Police. We have not been able to have any contact with him. Likewise, we want the equipment and other assets they stole returned,” Chamorro demanded.

At noon, after they took the boxes, computers and the TV cameras and edition equipment, Leonel Gutierrez was seen outside the Invercasa tower and later put in a pickup truck of the infamous “El Chipote” interrogation jail. No evidence of physical aggesion was seen. The motives for his Police detention are still unknown.

AFP photographer, Luis Sequiera, was also temporarily detained by the police, while he was trying to cover the assault. 

“They are not going to silence us, we will continue reporting”

Carlos F. Chamorro noted, “what we are seeing today does not respond to any law, we cannot find any rational justification. However, there is nothing new happening. It didn’t start today. It started many decades ago.”

During a live broadcast of the Confidencial program on Radio Corporacion, Chamorro stressed that “they are not going to silence us, they can steal other television cameras, other equipment, they can occupy a room where we had made some productions, but we will continue to inform, they will not silence our journalists,” he stressed.

Hours before, Chamorro denounced through his Twitter account that “Confidencial’s offices are surrounded by riot police” and demanded “respect for the physical integrity of our journalists and respect for our equipment.”

“Two years ago, they assaulted and confiscated us, but they never shut us up. We will continue to report,” assured Chamorro.

He added that “the writing of Confidencial is not in our formerly confiscated building, nor is it in this place assaulted today by the Police, in a useless act. They will never be able to confiscate journalism, because they will never to be able to silence this media. Here we are doing journalism, reporting.”

Hours before the new illegal raid on Confidencial, the Ministry of the Interior, under orders of Daniel Ortega, accused the Violeta Barrios de Chamorro Foundation for alleged money laundering. Simultaneously the Police raided its offices, although this organization closed in February due to the obstacles imposed by the Foreign Agents Law.

In December 2018, the Ortega police stole and illegally occupied the Confidencial facilities, which two years later, were given to the Ministry of Health, which turned it into a “front” maternity home, consummating the confiscation of the facilities.

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