Editor of Nicaragua’s La Prensa briefly detained

August 5, 2011

MANAGUA – Nicaraguan police detained the editor-in-chief of the daily La Prensa, Eduardo Enríquez, on charges of using his vehicle to obstruct a motorcade that accompanied the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Roberto Rivas, witnesses and officials said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred Monday night and involved bodyguards protecting Rivas, who is said to be allied with President Daniel Ortega, and the editor of La Prensa, a newspaper that has been critical of the Ortega government. Enríquez was arrested after being chased and shot at by Rivas’ bodyguards. He was released 12 hours later.

Bodyguards “began pursuing the vehicle … [which was] headed south. They had to fire preventive shots to neutralize it. They removed the driver [Enríquez] from the vehicle,” Managua’s Police Chief Róger Ramírez said.

Rivas, who is under scrutiny by members of the political opposition, had publicly clashed with Enríquez over news reports that criticized him.

Enríquez was released after paying a fine, police spokesman Fernando Borge said. Borge said the editor was arrested for driving “under the influence of alcohol, driving erratically and endangering the lives of other motorists.”

Enríquez said Rivas’ bodyguards were traveling without emergency lights and gave no indication that Rivas’ vehicle was nearby.

–AFP

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