MANAGUA – The Nicaraguan daily El Nuevo Diario on Wednesday denounced the fact that its reporters have received threats for reporting on cases of alleged corruption in the country’s leftist government.
Threats were directed against the authors of stories “about proven acts of corruption” at the DGI tax agency and the Finance Ministry, the paper said in an editorial.
Journalist Luis Galeano, who has been in charge of the reporting on DGI, received telephone calls “warning him about the physical danger he was in because of what he dared to publish,” El Nuevo Diario said.
The paper said “honest” DGI employees told Galeano that agency chief Walter Porras hired his wife Franca Aiello as his economic advisor and awarded a contract to provide dental care for DGI staff to a clinic owned by his son.
El Nuevo Diario said that in a meeting held by DGI last Friday to discuss the stories, Porras had warned that “he would take care of doing something” to the reporter and those who had leaked information.
“But neither Galeano nor any reporter of this paper will cease doing their job, even less so if it concerns exhibiting before our people the corrupt ones who head state institutions,” the newspaper said.
Two unions representing DGI employees attempted to discredit El Nuevo Diario’s stories about Porras, labeling the accounts as “slander.”
“The sectors of the right and the oligarchs, upon having nothing to offer the Nicaraguan people and in the face of the overwhelmingly positive results of the social programs of our government, are resorting to slander to create conditions of negative opinion about the Sandinista governmental administration,” the DGI unions said in a statement.
Those “sectors” are trying to harm the government with an eye toward the Nov. 6 presidential election, according to the statement.
Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega is planning to seek a second consecutive term as Nicaragua’s president. EFE