Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Nicaragua

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1997
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Nicaragua, February 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5650ec.html [accessed 20 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Nicaraguan National Assembly considered controversial press legislation that would require media organizations to hire journalists who belonged to a Colegio de Periodistas, a trade union. The move prompted a national discussion among journalists along political lines. The Nicaraguan Journalists Union, which is largely supportive of the Sandinistas, backs the legislation; the Nicaraguan Journalists Association, formed by anti-Sandinistas, opposes it.

February 29
Sabhja Hamad, Channel 12 Televisión, ATTACKED
Ernesto Rizo, Channel 6 Televisión, ATTACKED
Mario Sanchez, Barricada, ATTACKED
William Roiz, Barricada, ATTACKED
Carlos Durán, Barricada, ATTACKED
Manual Alvarez, Barricada, ATTACKED
Ernesto Pineiro, Channel 4 Televisión, ATTACKED
Oscar Roiz Martínez, Extravisión, ATTACKED
Benito Tellez, Channel 12 Televisión, ATTACKED

Nine journalists were injured while covering a confrontation between police and lottery ticket vendors. Hamad, a reporter with Channel 12 Televisión, had to be hospitalized after several rocks were thrown at her. Rizo, a cameraman for Channel 6 Televisión, also had to be hospitalized after a tear-gas bomb thrown by police exploded near him. Sanchez, Roiz, Durán and Alvarez, all reporters with the daily Barricada, and television reporters Pineiro, Roiz Martínez and Tellez were beaten by vendors and policemen.

June 6
Radio La Corporación, ATTACKED, THREATENED
Fabio Gadea Mantilla, Radio La Corporación, HARASSED

Former Nicaraguan contras, anti-Sandinista resistance fighters, took over Radio La Corporación, reportedly by order of ex-contra Leonardo Zeledon, a member of the Nicaraguan Resistance Party (PRN). The group occupied the station for 15 hours, demanding that Radio La Corporación owner Gadea Mantilla, who is also president of the PRN, register specific candidates in upcoming general elections. Gadea Mantilla refused. Police June 7 apprehended Zeledon and other PRN members on charges including "illegally occupying private property, [making] death threats, and terrorism." Zeledon, who is confined to a wheelchair, was placed under house arrest.

According to Gadea Mantilla, the same group on June 9 threatened to destroy the station. Gadea Mantilla said that when he received the threats by telephone he immediately notified police, asking for protection for the station's downtown Managua offices and for the station's transmitter in Tipitapa, 22 kilometers north of Managua.

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