After the Horrors of Prison in Nicaragua, Lucia Pineda Resumes Journalism

Lucia met with colleagues, family, friends; she spoke with the Costa Rican President and the Foreign Minister.

For several days—very few—Lucia Pineda the journalist yielded the limelight to Lucia Pineda the daughter, sister, aunt, family member, as she allowed herself to visit her family in Costa Rica.

But the indulgence could not last long, and in the interim she spoke with the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, and met with his foreign minister, Jose Manuel Ventura.

She expressed “gratitude…because Costa Rica was the first country that raised its voice to denounce what was happening in Nicaragua since April 18 of last year, and became the voice of the people of Nicaragua in international forums, reporting the abuses and repression by the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega,” she said when interviewed on the television program “Esta Semana” (This Week), which is broadcast online.

Pineda said she asked the top Costa Rican authorities whether it was possible to expedite the procedures for Nicaraguans in that country to obtain a refugee card, and expressed her hope that the international community will provide resources to Costa Rica, so as not to distort the finances of the nation that has given refuge to tens of thousands of compatriots.

Lucia mentions that she also has been able to talk to people who approached her on the street, who wanted to be photographed with her, or to tell her that they had prayed for her, and that they are glad that she was released, and tell her that “the struggle must continue.”

A woman and journalist of strength

The journalist is also preparing her bags to receive an award for her courage as a woman and journalist, after which she will return to the struggle to achieve “the complete freedom of Nicaragua, the democratization of the country, respect for its citizens and restore to journalists the constitutional right to inform and have freedom of expression,” without fear of threats, harassment, persecution and jail.

“The fundamental demand is security. Security that they will not kill you, take you prisoner, that there will be no paramilitaries and police officers chasing you, that the repression stops, and to have early elections demanded by the people, because that is the only solution to the situation in Nicaragua,” she emphasized.

In the specific case of Pineda—and her boss and friend Miguel Mora—the freedom to inform implies the return of the “100% Noticias” (News) channel, confiscated de facto on the night of December 21, 2018. Meanwhile, they will begin reactivating their presence in social networks.

“There was a lot of pressure to stop reporting on social networks. There was a pause on the networks and digital platforms,” but the goals, now that she and Mora are free, is to start reporting in that way, in which they already took the first step, by transmitting live, on the Facebook page of the channel, the press conference in which they reported that they were free.

After recounting the difficult moments of her captivity —disinformation, solitary confinement, the humiliation of not having even a basic facility to defecate—, Pineda, whose humor and optimism appear intact, thanked journalist Carlos Fernando Chamorro because he constantly demanded the freedom of and Miguel Mora and herself.

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