Nicaragua orders photojournalist to leave country

Managua, May 13 (IANS/EFE) An Agence France-Presse photojournalist has been expelled from Nicaragua, Chilean Consul Diego Rivera said.

Hector Retamal, a Chilean national, was put on a plane Saturday to Costa Rica, where the French news agency has its Central American headquarters, Rivera said.

Retamal was detained last Tuesday for “violating the Migration Law”, Nicaraguan officials said.

The Nicaraguan government never filed charges against the photojournalist, AFP’s director for Central America, Marcelo Brusa, told EFE.

The 37-year-old Retamal was detained near the headquarters of the governing Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN, Brusa said.

The photojournalist identified himself at the Government House checkpoint as an AFP correspondent assigned to cover President Daniel Ortega’s meeting with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, who was on a tour of Central America, Brusa said.

Nicaraguan officials did not explain why the AFP correspondent was detained or expelled from the country, Brusa said.

Retamal has worked for AFP for 11 months, covering Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

–IANS/EFE

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