Fernando Chamorro

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Attacks on the Press   |   Nicaragua

Attacks on the Press 2009: Nicaragua

Top Developments
• Ortega administration marginalizes private media.
• Authorities use legal harassment, smears against critics.

Key Statistic
0: Number of press conferences held by Ortega since taking office.


Three decades after a revolution swept the Sandinistas into power, the government of President Daniel Ortega still cast private media as enemies and moved forcefully to curtail their influence. Ortega—who led the 1979 uprising against the Somoza dictatorship and reclaimed the presidency in 2006 elections—employed a range of tactics to marginalize the press, including legal persecution, smear campaigns to discredit adversaries, and manipulation of state advertising to punish critical outlets.

February 16, 2010 12:24 AM ET

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Blog   |   Argentina

Tomás Eloy Martínez, passionate press freedom advocate

Martínez (Reuters)

Argentine writer and journalist Tomás Eloy Martínez, who died on Monday after a long battle with cancer, was ranked among Latin America’s most prominent intellectuals. Best known for his novels about former President Juan Domingo Perón and his wife Eva, Martínez cared deeply about press freedom and was a passionate advocate who helped scores of Argentine reporters, and was actively involved in CPJ’s efforts to campaign on behalf on Cuban imprisoned journalists.

Martínez understood the difficulties journalists face while working on dangerous assignments or under repressive regimes. In 1975, he was forced to flee Argentina after serious threats from a right-wing paramilitary group. He lived in exile during the dictatorship era, and returned briefly to the country after democracy was restored in 1983.

Blog   |   Nicaragua

Sale of private broadcaster sparks concerns in Nicaragua

CPJ

The sale of private television station Telenica Channel 8, one of Nicaragua’s most popular broadcasters, has sparked immediate controversy. Carlos Briceño, left, who previously owned the station, recently confirmed that he had sold the station but said that a confidential contract has forbid him from revealing the name of the buyers or the figures of the transaction. Local news reports have alleged that the buyers were family members of President Daniel Ortega.

January 21, 2010 3:14 PM ET

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Letters   |   Iran

Free Maziar Bahari: 100 global journalists petition Iran

Your Excellency: We are writing to express our grave concern at the detention of our esteemed fellow journalist Maziar Bahari and to request his immediate release. Mr. Bahari has been detained since June 21. No charges have been brought against him, and he has not been granted access to a lawyer. As one of the most impartial and committed journalists in his field, he has reported regularly over the past decade from the Middle East, principally from Iran and Iraq, and provided consistently balanced and insightful reports. As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, he has earned global respect for his work.

Blog   |   Nicaragua

Fighting back against Nicaragua's war on the media

What is happening in Nicaragua when it comes to press freedom? A CPJ report found that President Daniel Ortega is waging a war against the media. It consists of smear campaigns, legal and economic pressures, verbal and physical attacks, and a rigorous information embargo against the critical and independent media.

July 2, 2009 4:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   Nicaragua

Lively debate on the state of press freedom in Managua

Minutes after I woke up to get ready for the presentation of a CPJ report on press freedom conditions in Nicaragua, I turned on the TV. Nicaragua was shaken by the sudden death of Managua's mayor, Alexis Arguello, who was found at home with a gunshot wound to his chest. Arguello, who had won three world boxing titles for Nicaragua and was considered the greatest athlete in the country's history, committed suicide, according to several local press reports. While an autopsy is pending and authorities are investigating his death, on Wednesday the government declared three days of mourning. 

July 2, 2009 2:53 PM ET

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Reports   |   Nicaragua

Nicaragua Special Report: Daniel Ortega's Media War

Nicaragua’s president ignores the news media, except to harass his critics. By Carlos Lauría and Joel Simon

July 1, 2009 11:00 AM ET

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Blog   |   Nicaragua

After outcry, Nicaragua drops case against critical editor

The Nicaraguan attorney general's office has dropped a criminal investigation into a nonprofit journalism organization headed by the prominent editor Carlos Fernando Chamorro Barrios after finding no evidence of wrongdoing. A remarkable number of media groups and individuals, including CPJ, spoke out against the investigation as politically motivated. 

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