“Short on Words to Denounce the Ortega Dictatorship”

Says the Inter American Press Association

Police escort La Prensa general manager Juan Lorenzo Holmann.

The Inter American Press Association condemns the ransacking of the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa and the arrest of its General Manager, Juan Lorenzo Holmann.

Por 100% Noticias

HAVANA TIMES – The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned Nicaragua’s dictatorial regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, after the illegal raid of the offices of Managua’s oldest daily newspaper La Prensa, and the arrest and kidnapping of its General Manager, Juan Lorenzo Holmann.

The Nicaraguan Police announced Friday that Holmann is being investigated for the supposed crimes of “tax evasion and money laundering.” La Prensa’s manager has become political prisoner number 33 of the regime that, since May, has escalated repression against opposition presidential candidates, the media, and independent journalists. Holmann is the regional vice-president of the Freedom of the Press and Information Commission of the IAPA in Nicaragua.

Holmann’s arrest happened after La Prensa stopped publishing its printed edition this past Friday, in response to the obstacles imposed by the Government’s obstructing the release of newsprint paper from Customs. The Police entered the newspaper building without a warrant and confiscated accounting information, computers and the financial department’s servers.

On Monday, the offices of the only printed daily newspaper left in the country remain in the hands of the Police. Holmann was taken away at 3:00 AM on Saturday, and transferred to the Nuevo Chipote prison, where he remains sequestered incommunicado like the other political prisoners.

The president of IAPA, Jorge Canahuati, condemned the raid and Holmann’s arrest, and said “We have run out of words to denounce Ortega’s dictatorship, which every day demonstrates how to remove opponents and critics in order to make its road to the November elections easier.”

The President of the Freedom of the Press Commission, Carlos Jornet, denounced, “they continue inventing crimes against La Prensa with the intention of governing with impunity.”

“We implore organizations and the international community to vigorously speak out against the abuses committed against this newspaper, its administrators and its journalists,” said Canahuati and Jornet.

With its facilities occupied, and without paper, La Prensa continues reporting from its website: laprensa.com.ni. Since 2018, two other independent media, 100% Noticias and Confidencial, were also illegally raided and their facilities confiscated by the State.

Holmann is the second regional vice-president of the IAPA Commission arrested in recent weeks. On July 11, Henry Constantin was arrested in Cuba. He was released 15 days later. Constantin has been a regional vice-president of the IAPA for five years.

The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and freedom of speech in the Americas. It is composed of over 1,300 publications in the Western Hemisphere, with headquarters in Miami, Florida, USA.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.