Nicaraguan Miss Nicaragua Pageant Director Accused of Plotting Against Government
Nicaraguan police are on the hunt for Karen Celebertti, the director of the Miss Nicaragua pageant, on charges of rigging contests in favor of anti-government beauty queens. Authorities believe this is part of a larger plot to overthrow the government. The controversy unfolded after Sheynnis Palacios, Miss Nicaragua, won the Miss Universe competition. However, it was later discovered that she had participated in anti-government protests in 2018.
The protests in 2018 were met with violent repression by government forces, resulting in numerous deaths. While President Daniel Ortega claimed the demonstrations were a coup attempt, his opponents argued that they were a response to his repressive rule. Celebertti is accused of actively taking part in the protests and allegedly conspiring with foreign agents in using beauty pageants as a platform for political ambushes.
As the allegations came to light, authorities took Celebertti’s family members into custody. However, Celebertti herself managed to evade arrest after being refused entry into Nicaragua. This further compounded the government’s anger, especially as ordinary Nicaraguans celebrated Palacios’ win by proudly displaying the blue-and-white national flag, rather than the government’s red-and-black Sandinista banner.
Ortega’s government has been clamping down on dissent, with measures such as university closures, the outlawing of organizations, and the arrest and expulsion of opponents. Amidst these developments, Palacios, the first Nicaraguan to win the Miss Universe title, has remained silent, refraining from commenting on the situation.
An additional twist to the story was revealed through photos allegedly belonging to Palacios, which were found on a now-deleted Facebook account. The photos show her at an anti-government protest, expressing her initial fear before participating.
The controversy surrounding the Miss Nicaragua pageant and its director has shed light on the deep political divisions within Nicaragua. With the government accusing Celebertti of trying to undermine its authority, and the people supporting Palacios urging for change, the situation has contributed to the already tense political climate in the country.