(CNN Spanish) –– The newspaper La Prensa reported this Wednesday that the Nicaraguan justice system sentenced two of its workers to 10 years in prison for alleged crimes of “conspiracy to undermine national integrity” and “propagation of false news through the media and of information”.
The newspaper reported that these are two drivers who were taking the journalistic teams to the coverage and that they were arrested on July 6, 2021, after the newspaper reported on the expulsion from the country of the nuns of the Missionaries of Charity.
“The driver who mobilized the journalistic team was kidnapped from his family’s home. The other driver of the newspaper, who was not involved in the coverage, was also detained by police around midnight that same day,” the newspaper explained.
CNN has not been able to confirm with the Nicaraguan Judiciary whether these convictions and the crimes for which they are accused are correct.
This is not the only case in which the Ortega government has attacked the newspaper La Prensa.
In August 2022, La Prensa reported in its online edition that the Government of Nicaragua carried out “the de facto confiscation” of its movable and immovable property, the value of which, according to the newspaper, reaches an amount close to US$ 10 million.
This Wednesday, the newspaper reported that Rosario Murillo, Ortega’s wife and vice president of the country, announced that a cultural and technical center would be inaugurated in April “which is being carried out in the facilities stolen from the newspaper.”
The facilities of La Prensa, a 96-year-old newspaper and one of the benchmarks of Nicaraguan journalism, were occupied by agents of the National Police on August 13, 2021, after a raid in which its general manager, Juan Lorenzo Hollman Chamorro, was arrested and charged with the crime of money laundering. Later the government expropriated these facilities to turn them into the headquarters of a cultural center.
On March 24, Hollman Chamorro was found guilty and on April 1, he received a court sentence of 9 years in prison.
Hollman Chamorro declared his innocence before the charges, according to the information that his wife published in La Prensa.
The conviction of the drivers is also part of an attack by the Ortega regime against civil society organizations, the Catholic Church and the political opposition. The Human Rights Watch organization affirms that in the midst of the progressive dismantling of institutional controls on the Executive Branch, many of the regime’s opponents have had to go into exile. Others are in jail.