Miami, January 22, 2019–The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed grave concern about news that Carlos Fernando Chamorro, one of Nicaragua’s most prominent independent journalists, has fled the country. Chamorro announced on Twitter on January 20 that he fled to Costa Rica due to threats against him from the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
“The fact that Carlos Fernando Chamorro, one of Nicaragua’s most high-profile journalists, has joined the growing number of reporters fleeing Nicaragua is the clearest evidence yet of the increasingly dangerous environment for the local press,” said CPJ South and Central America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick from New York. “If authorities force all independent media out of the country, the whole region will be dangerously uninformed about what is happening in Nicaragua.”
The reported threats against Chamorro followed a December 13 police raid on the Managua office of news website Confidencial and its sister television programs, “Esta Noche” and “Esta Semana.” Chamorro is the founder and director of all three outlets. CPJ has expressed deep concern over deteriorating press freedom conditions in Nicaragua since anti-government protests broke out in April 2018. One reporter was killed while covering the protests, and two journalists from independent cable and digital channel 100% Noticias have been detained for more than a month on multiple anti-state charges.