Radio La Cariñosa
Orlando Chávez, whose independent news radio show "El Metropolitano" is broadcast on Radio La Cariñosa in the city of León, Nicaragua, was arrested along with his brother and sister on May 19, 2024. They were released the next day. (Still from video: Radio La Cariñosa/Facebook)

Nicaraguan police arrest journalist Orlando Chávez in León 

Nicaraguan police detained Orlando Chávez, the director of the independent news radio show “El Metropolitano,” along with his brother and sister, after raiding their home on May 19, 2024, according to the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa. News reports said police arrested the journalist’s siblings, Obed and Merary Chávez, for alleged obstruction and confiscated their phones.

Privately owned news website Darío Medios reported that Chávez and his siblings were released on May 20.  

Chávez was among several people detained who had participated in an April book presentation that Chávez reported on, according to the Darío Medios report and a Facebook post by the local human rights collective Nicaragua Nunca Más (Nicaragua Never Again). A scheduled May 17 presentation for “Los Brujos y Los Prodigios” (“The Warlocks and Their Prodigies”), a collection of essays on fiction writers by academic Guillermo Rothschuh, was canceled by the police, Nicaraguan news website República 18 reported.

According to a Nicaraguan journalist who requested anonymity for security reasons, Chávez is a well-known journalist in the northwestern city of León who broadcasts his radio show, covering local events, on Radio La Cariñosa. In the past, he collaborated with outlets such as La Prensa and Hoy, the journalist said.

CPJ has documented the ongoing crackdown against the press in Nicaragua, which includes harassing, detaining, and forcing journalists into exile. Currently, one Nicaraguan journalist, Victor Ticay, is imprisoned, serving an eight-year sentence for conspiracy and dissemination of false news after posting an Easter celebration video on his Facebook page.

CPJ sent an email to the Nicaraguan police for comment but did not immediately receive a reply.