In a surprising turn of events, the Nicaraguan police have pressed charges against the owner of the local Miss Universe franchise, Karen Celebertti, with a laundry list of offenses including conspiracy, money laundering, and the dissemination of false information. This comes just weeks after the momentous victory of Nicaragua in the prestigious pageant.
The national police issued a statement accusing Celebertti, her husband, and son of conspiring against the government through their Miss Nicaragua organization. The police allege that the pageants have been used as political tools, funded by foreign entities to sow discord and unrest.
Attempts to reach Celebertti or her representatives for comment were unsuccessful. The situation has escalated to the point where Celebertti has been barred from returning to the country and her husband and son have been detained on charges dating back to 2018, regarding their involvement in organizing anti-government protests.
Meanwhile, the newly crowned Miss Universe, Sheynnis Palacios, has chosen to remain in New York following her historic victory, making her the first Central American to claim the title. Palacios’ win was met with jubilation in Nicaragua, however, the authorities are now alleging that the organizers have been attempting to instigate further anti-government demonstrations. It’s worth noting that protests have been banned in Nicaragua since a violent crackdown on dissent in 2018, which resulted in hundreds of casualties according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
These developments continue to unfold in Nicaragua, a country still grappling with political controversy and social upheaval.
(Reporting by Ismael Lopez; Editing by Toby Chopra)