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Police charge director of Miss Nicaragua pageant with running 'beauty queen coup' plot

Nicaraguan police said Friday they want to arrest the director of the Miss Nicaragua pageant, accusing her of intentionally rigging contests so that anti-government beauty queens would win the pageants as part of a plot to overthrow the government.

The charges against pageant director Karen Celebertti would not be out of place in a vintage James Bond movie with a repressive, closed off government, coup-plotting claims, foreign agents and beauty queens.

It all started Nov. 18, when Miss Nicaragua, Nicaragua’s Sheynnis Palacios won the Miss Universe competition. The government of President Daniel Ortega briefly thought it had scored a rare public relations victory, calling her win a moment of “legitimate joy and pride.”

But the tone quickly soured the day after the win when it emerged that Palacios had posted photos of herself on Facebook participating in one of the mass anti-government protests in 2018.

The protests were violently repressed, and human rights officials say 355 people were killed by government forces. Ortega claimed the protests were an attempted coup with foreign backing, aiming for his overthrow. His opponents said Nicaraguans were protesting his increasingly repressive rule and seemingly endless urge to hold on to power.

A statement by the National Police claimed Celebertti “participated actively, on the internet and in the streets in the terrorist actions of a failed coup," an apparent reference to the 2018 protests.

Celebertti apparently slipped through the hands of police after she was reportedly denied permission to enter the country a few days ago. But some local media reported that her son and husband had been taken into custody.

Celebertti, her husband and son face charges of “treason to the motherland.” They have not spoken publicly about the charges against them.

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by Anonymousreply 7December 3, 2023 1:40 AM

This would make a great movie.

by Anonymousreply 1December 2, 2023 7:11 PM

anti-government beauty queens would win the pageants as part of a plot to overthrow the government

I love it.

by Anonymousreply 2December 2, 2023 7:13 PM

that's sad. obviously cooked up

by Anonymousreply 3December 2, 2023 7:20 PM

R1 Miss Congeniality 3

by Anonymousreply 4December 2, 2023 7:21 PM

I'm so glad my pageant days are behind me.

by Anonymousreply 5December 2, 2023 7:26 PM

[quote] accusing her of intentionally rigging contests so that anti-government beauty queens would win the pageants as part of a plot to overthrow the government

Awesome!

by Anonymousreply 6December 3, 2023 1:30 AM

[quote] I'm so glad my pageant days are behind me.

Sometimes pageant days can come to a more....permanent end.

by Anonymousreply 7December 3, 2023 1:40 AM
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