Lawmakers in Nicaragua on Thursday approved a reform allowing the government of President Daniel Ortega to oversee all film and TV content produced in the country. Filmmakers and artists are wary, fearing yet another facet of political censorship in the Central American country.
The law turns Nicaragua’s Cinemateca Nacional into the de facto regulator of cinema in the country, with the power to approve and block the showing of movies and TV shows. The measure faced no resistance from the government-controlled National Assembly.
The Ortega administration has become notorious for persecuting the opposition, the press, and even the Catholic Church.
The president says the reform was created to “protect the country’s image abroad.” Wálmaro Gutiérrez, a congressman representing the ruling Sandinista Party, denied allegations of censorship, saying the bill will only “regulate” the audiovisual industry.