Nicaragua's Media Crackdown | Unreported World

Nicaragua's Media Crackdown | Unreported World

I'm undercover in managua the capital of Nicaragua on my way to La Prensa one of the few newspapers that dares to criticize the government of President Daniel Ortega of constantly so nervous and on a lookout for the police or anyone who may spot us filming if they see us filming they would confiscate the camera detain us and then eventually deport us in her film police police focus is put it down outside the la prensa office we again hide our camera the papers journalists have warned us that the police watch the entrance inside the news desk is planning the days reporting can I join your meeting okay Yvette mangria is covering the reopening of universities which were at the heart of the anti-government protests if she finds students who will talk what are your biggest worries covering this today when about Bella polycythemia penetrance this is an embarrassing video overall the United Nations says the police have arrested hundreds of people including journalists to silence critics of the government if it shows me footage of when she was attacked covering an anti-government demonstration where police killed two students the security forces have killed over 300 people since protests began in 2018 say Feliz it says patria della policy yogi when Fernando I love the woman so many arrow fellow Brussels moments earlier the police had beaten event that's her in blue and white her colleague is screaming on with the press it didn't stop tambien targeted as protests grew security forces killed more than 300 according to Amnesty International the government denies this saying many of those killed were policemen Evette okay this is obviously very traumatic and I can see you're so very affected months and months later okay yeah lo que paso en algo que no cumbia ferret cocoon of silicon cambiar de como para is indirect the princes managers say they've had to layoff journalists because the papers independent reporting means companies are frightened to advertise with them Evette and photography Uriel Molina head of the universities that sparked last year's unrest it's not safe for us to go in the same car so I'm gonna have to go in a taxi and just follow them from quite a safe distance thus the university was trying to enter and it's the country's biggest university for the government reopening of the universities shows life is back to normal but gods are keeping our students who took part in the protests and journalists too they're negotiating with the guards it doesn't look good but they're coming back down they couldn't even get in it takes a picture of that I guess they're gonna try to make this a part of their story the fact that they're not allowed in this is so frustrating so many stories don't get told because the government has made sure to put pressure on journalists any way they can there is police everywhere the police and army are under the direct control of President Ortega according to his critics since his reelection in 2006 the former Marxist revolutionary has amassed huge personal power Evette tries a second university again the security guards refused entry and we are beginning to attract attention we had a car with a bunch of guys behind us that were quite dodgy and they they were just watching me constantly so I think it's it's time to move on they may be paramilitaries armed supporters of the president responsible for the many violent attacks on journalists and opposition figures they try a third University and at last they get in I film on my phone as event learns half of the students have not come back to the college some blacklisted others too scared to return it's a huge number and it gives Yvette a story the government doesn't want old before filing her story if it takes me to a church nearby to show me how brutal the crackdown on the opposition can get it's worth 150 students fled to last year when the police broke up a demonstration police and paramilitary is fired on them for 12 hours killing two students policías Arabs oven perimeter para la gente a water naquadah he mr. president apparently paramilitary $40 Sierra Ferrando looking at these bullet points it's just quite extraordinary I mean on the surface Negro goes seems quite calm not much seems to be happening outside but when you hear people's stories especially journalists and students and come to places like this and see like bullets you realize that the croco may actually be a nation at war this country has been there before a civil war thirty years ago claimed more than thirty thousand lives president Ortega says those who oppose him are terrorists trying to overthrow a democratically elected leader as well as newspapers the government has been shutting down independent TV stations this 24-hour news station was broadcasting last December when the picture was suddenly cut an urgent plea for help followed auntie mo Tina's aquí en la fuerza del CN por ciento noticia al paramilitaries aqui adentro tambien esto es o de emergencias se quiere llevar press o Metro director Miguel Maura the channel director Michael Mora was arrested for terrorism and inciting hatred because of the channels reporting he's still awaiting trial a few weeks ago he recorded a video message in his prison cell tapas and ownership a or a momento in Victoria and criminally Sandow thank him in a nice and Oliver XP on his channel remains of I head across the capital to visit one of the few remaining independent TV stations you see process of Daniel Ortega everywhere together with his wife the vice-president Rosario marilla I'm very keen to find out how a film crew operates in comparison to a newspaper and what's not dangers they have to deal with channel 10 still manages to broadcast three news bulletins a day a meeting reporter Valeska Rivera she's happy for us to follow her on assignment but warns we keep her low profile so the police don't see us today she's heading to court covering the case of three women arrested for taking part in a demonstration they've been charged with terrorism under a new law passed by Daniel Ortega last year that outlaws anyone who supports all reports on anti-government protests on the way to court she's passed the chance to film another story she's working on she's learned that petrol stations owned by people who opposed the president are being shut down they're not sure whether to risk stopping police are guarding the four courts on the lookout for protesters and press just a quick report here and before the police gets here they have to get out they were literally there for less than a minute Vlasta they're just proof of really fast hello no CEOs porque en terapia Tommo grabando LoCascio the police basically started following them when they were near the petrol station so for now camera we'll put it down threw down a big group of police just all over the place it's really unsettling they managed to shake off their police tail and tell us to meet them at the courthouse the courts aren't independent a Supreme Court judge and longtime ally of the president recently resigned saying he'd created a police state Valeska has arranged to interview the lawyer of the jailed protesters they've just pulled up their car near one of the gates that has the least amount of security but even that is pretty secure and they're just waiting for the lawyer and as soon as they come out they're gonna rush to the gate to try and get an interview with them and I'm gonna be filming with my as Valeska gets her interview out of shot annuities police taking pictures of her it's a form of intimidation she says journalists suffer all the time to go keep the bottle but back in the studio she tells me what the lawyer revealed about her clients the other one a tener una audiencia de a sin embargo no llegar oh boy confirm a lo que hace una policía el sistema qanitin' scheduled appearance the authorities denied this but Valeska reports what she's been told that evening Valeska invites me to her her she lives with her husband javi buta Mariana and her parents how many of the channels are owned by the government and how many are still independent Kanaloa del gobierno come Quattro Tamina HEVC Aleta canal says they'll go here kinda low Joey también they'll go here akin addresses officially though many of the surviving channels are largely owned by the Ortega family which has wide-ranging business interests Valeska had to move recently because of threats against her and her family there was even a suspicious robbery equal zero la cabeza what was going through your mind when you had a gun to your head paramecia agreein el celular no carryin ningún otro he total or no me pregunta por dinero solo con me Solari Valeska believes journalist phones are being stolen to access their contacts and view their pictures and videos ocupado el dia de hecho takea viene a la casa como or a mime oh yeah me siento tranquille dhola's mañana el evolve over le prometo que regresar tengo que yo a compromise a promise about me we're really certain downtown a statue of the late venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who financed Ortega's reelection campaign and just as Chavez did Ortega has grabbed presidential term limits and controls every branch of government I'm on my way to meet a blogger called Emmanuel Diaz who is behind one of the most popular blogs in the country he is known for writing very controversial daring things he is one of the last critical voices still remaining in Nicaragua as we arrive Manuel Diaz is writing a blog for his hundreds of thousands of followers and he doesn't mince his words he once called President Ortega a baby killer it got him into trouble that's a picture of you in jail it says everyone who sold their country and terrorist their time will come and they will pay for the earth they're not using a law they basically just given an excuse and without excuses enough to take you to jail and leave me there for 30 years and torture you and the world thing they want to you many are suspects that some of the posts are orchestrated by officials inside government but he can't prove it what were they saying what were the most vicious ones we're gonna kill this guy is that your telephone number you've been saving all of them yeah because of my process to us for asylum right he can't take the threats anymore he reveals that today's blog is his lost in Nicaragua tomorrow is going to flee the country what do you think you will miss the most the garden like we had a miscarriage between these two and that tree is in order of the baby so that was sort of one of the first things that I had to had to do because I did in didn't cross my mind that I had to leave the country and I was like I'm sorry I have to take care of the living ones now how do you feel that you may never return to this home for me it's very very moments like this do you do you regret maybe writing your book no I mean no it's like do you regret being who you are and I can what makes this quite sad is that his story is not unique he's one of the many many journalists who have had to escape in the past few months alone just because they were journalists and we're doing their jobs they left the next morning for the US where they claimed political asylum their case is still being considered Manuel joins the 60,000 Nicaraguan who have left since the protests began before leaving I returned to the offices of La Prensa this is a recent issue of La Prensa something that has resonated with a lot of journalists here a blank front page it's a brave stand but Yvette tells me another much more basic problem could well shut down the print run of the oldest newspaper in Nicaragua it will close in weeks if they don't receive further supplies of paper customs officers block their last shipment back in September no necessary mental gobierno necesita encarcelado political economical meant a how a community she owned the media around 700 of President Ortega's political opponents including journalists remain in jail president Ortega swore to silence free speech and opposition voices continues thanks for watching click the logo to subscribe for more award-winning documentaries from the unreported world team we upload videos every Sunday keeping you up to date with content from all over the world


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