Corporate media outlets blamed Nicaragua’s government for a deadly arson attack during the 2018 coup attempt, but new information raises serious doubts about the official story, highlighting the campaign of regime-change misinformation.
by John Perry
Part 5 - Flawed coverage in The Guardian
My assertion, that any doubts about who caused the fire would be unlikely to dispel the media verdicts, was proved correct. The simple reason was that neither local nor international media were interested in addressing these questions, as was soon demonstrated by coverage in the UK by The Guardian.
The newspaper had already published 13 news stories about the violence in Nicaragua by early July. Its Latin American correspondent had visited the country in June and I had told him about the opposition’s arson attacks. By the time The Guardian’s freelance reporters Carl David Goette-Luciak and Caroline Houck covered the story on July 5, some of the facts about the fire had begun to emerge. Even so, rather than questioning the consensus narrative, they reinforced it.
Their article highlighted the tiny coffins photographed during the burial of the youngest victims and portrayed them as symbolic of the Ortega government’s indiscriminate violence. In their analysis, “a pro-Daniel Ortega militia” had “allegedly” committed the crime.
The report consisted largely of allegations that it was vengeance by police or government agents because of the family’s refusal to allow the house to be used as “a sniper’s nest.” As a result, “… about 50 masked men – some wearing black, others police uniforms covered by bulletproof vests – descended on Managua’s Carlos Marx neighborhood … in a convoy of pickup trucks” before attacking the house. One short paragraph in the middle of the story was given to the government’s version of events, ascribing the crime to violent protesters.
By the time The Guardian story appeared, police had succeeded in reaching the crime scene. But it was not until December 19 that the police were able to arrest two suspects and identify four others (local media quickly labelled those arrested as “political prisoners”).