Regulatory authorities

All civil society organisations, including those that work in the field of communication, are regulated by the Ministerio de Gobernación (Ministry of Interior - MIGOB). Each organisation has to present financial reports, the list of donors and everything concerning its sources of financing. This allows the government to control NGOs, including those in the media field. The MIGOB also has the power to sanction, fine or even definitively close any organisation or media that does not meet these requirements. Journalists' organisations and unions must also have their legal status granted by the Parliament, but the MIGOB has the power to open administrative proceedings against media and organisations, including requests to the Parliament to suspend the legal status of organisations.

The national police can also intervene against media or organisations when it considers that they are violating the legal framework of the country. National police backed by a court order can confiscate a media outlet to investigate it and can even dispose of its goods, provided that a judicial authority ordered so. Although the Nicaraguan legal framework only allows confiscation of property when the accused are found guilty of crime, organised crime, drug trafficking or terrorism, the police and the MIGOB apply the law also when media are critical of the government.