Nicaragua's Nuevo Diario paper stops printing after 39 years

GABRIELA SELSER
FILE - In this Nov. 5, 2008 file photo, a man reads a copy of El Nuevo Dario at the Oriental market in Managua, Nicaragua. Nuevo Diario has announced that it is stopping its print edition after 39 years. Nuevo Diario was favorable to the Sandinista Revolution when it was founded in 1980, but has since become critical of President Daniel Ortega’s crackdown on protests. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua's Nuevo Diario newspaper announced Friday that it is stopping its print edition after 39 years.

Nuevo Diario was favorable to the Sandinista Revolution when it was founded in 1980, but has been become critical of President Daniel Ortega's crackdown on protests.

The paper said it was stopping its print run "due to economic, technical and logistical difficulties that make it impossible to function."

Douglas Carcache, the paper's director, said the closure would leave more than 100 reporters, photographers and administrative staff unemployed. He said the print and digital versions would stop publishing.

Since last year the paper has complained Ortega's government has not allowed it to obtain imported newsprint and ink. Carcache said Friday that authorities had held at least 60 tons of the paper's newsprint. The closure also includes a related publication, Metro, a free paper that had circulated for six years.

The country's oldest newspaper, La Prensa, founded 93 years ago, has previously said it only has enough ink and newsprint for a few months.

María Elvira Domínguez, president of the Inter-American Press Society, said the closure was "product of Daniel Ortega's repressive policy of punishing the press."

Hundreds of Nicaraguans have been killed, jailed or forced into exile since protests against Ortega erupted in April 2018.

The Inter-American Press Association said it "regrets that another newspaper in Latin America has stopped publishing due to pressure from an authoritarian government."

The association noted that Nuevo Diario previously had to cut its print edition from 38 to eight pages on weekdays because of the paper shortage.