Nicaraguan police shot at the truck of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper La Prensa in Managua, Eduardo Enríquez, and then detained him for 12 hours for obstructing a motorcade with the president of the Supreme Electoral Council and "jeopardizing the lives of officials," according to La Prensa.
Police spokesperson Fernando Borge said in a press conference that the journalist, who was detained the evening of Aug. 1 was fined for violating traffic laws, reported the news agency EFE.
La Prensa said that after an altercation with the motorcade, police agents shot at Enríquez's truck and puntured a tire. The newspaper published a photo of the vehicle after the incident.
Although the shots were not aimed at injuring the journalist, the "aggression still put him in serious danger" and was an abuse of police power, La Prensa said in an opinion column.
Managua Police Chief Róger Ramírez admitted that the police in charge of security for the president of the council had pursued Enríquez's truck and “had to fire preventive shots to neutralize him," reported the news agency DPA.
After spending the night behind bars, the editor was freed around noon on Aug. 2, according to Nicaragua Hoy.
The representative for the Permanent Commission on Human Rights, Marcos Carmona, said the incident was a message to intimidate citizens and journalists alike to not criticize the system. The journalist characterized what happened as an "abuse," adding that authorities acted in an exaggerated manner, according to La Tribuna.
The general manager of La Prensa, Hugo Holmann, said Enríquez's arrest was "political vengeance" on the part of the president of the electoral council, reported El Nuevo Diario.