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Nicaragua. Miss Universe Sheynnis Palacios accused of betraying her homeland

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Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's regime is persecuting Nicaraguan Miss Universe Sheynnis Palacios. “Betrayal to the homeland” is just one of a long list of accusations made against the 23-year-old.

The global success of the first Nicaraguan and representative of Central America, who won the beauty contest (Miss Universe) organized in El Salvador in November 2023, was not recognized by the government of her country.

Sheynnis was included on the list of oppositionists “guilty of the crime of conspiracy against the country's system.”

Regime vs. Miss Universe

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The accusation prepared by the Nicaraguan prosecutor's office concerns the participation of the then 17-year-old girl in opposition activities, especially the mass street demonstrations against the dictatorship of President Ortega in 2018, bloodily suppressed by the army and police.

After the first spontaneous reactions of the Nicaraguan street to the global success of Sheynnis Palacios, the Nicaraguan Miss Universe was warned by the authorities that if she returned to the country, she would be arrested and put on trial for treason.

Miss Universe 2023 Sheynnis PalaciosRodrigo Sura/PAP

Beauty pageant director expelled from the country

A similar fate awaits the current director of beauty pageants in Nicaragua, Karen Celebretti. Due to her public statements – critical of the Ortega government, regarding the rigging of subsequent elections and the imprisonment or forcing to flee the country of almost all oppositionists from among her former comrades from the times of the revolution against the right-wing dictatorship – she was accused by the Nicaraguan prosecutor's office of treason to the homeland.

She allegedly participated in “money laundering” and “spreading false news against the regime prevailing in Nicaragua.” On January 6 this year, she was expelled from her homeland together with her husband and son.

Miss remains abroad

Miss Universe Sheynnis Palacios, facing the government's threat of “immediate arrest”, also remains abroad.

The wife of Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega, Vice President Rosario Murillo, announced these days that she has decided to personally organize this summer, under the patronage of the government, a new beauty contest for women aged 18 to 25.

Main photo source: Rodrigo Sura/PAP

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