Protection sought for Nicaraguan journalist after death threats

Reporters Without Borders has requested protection for Nicaraguan journalist Silvia González after she received death threats. González, a journalist for the newspaper El Nuevo Diario in Jinotega, appeared for a news conference Aug. 5 to denounce the repeated cell phone calls threatening her and her daughter, Reporters Without Borders said.

Other organizations like the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH in Spanish) and the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH in Spanish) supported González's claims.

"We called the chief of the National Police, First Commissioner Aminta Granera, asking for the required protection for Silvia González and that the police investigate those that are intimidating and threatening her for publishing local political news," said Gustavo Bermúdez, president of the Association of Nicaraguan Journalists (APN in Spanish).

Jinotega police recently arrested 21-year-old Hamilton José Altamirano Herrera, suspected of threatening the journalist and her daughter. José Altamirano denied the accusations and announced that he would sue for libel and slander.

González believes that the threats are motivated by a series of articles published in January about Gabriel José Yajob Garmendia, an ex-Contra guerrilla commander who received arms from the United States to fight against the Sandinista government in 1979, according to Reporters Without Borders. El Nuevo Diario's journalists received threats in the past for their coverage of suspected cases of corruption.