The owner of the Miss Universe franchise in Nicaragua, Karen Celebertti, has been charged with conspiracy, money laundering and spreading fake news just weeks after Nicaragua won the pageant for the first time.
According to the national police, Celebertti, her husband and son have been charged with conspiracy against the government. The police statement also alleges that Celebertti's local Miss Universe organization has been used for political purposes, funded by foreign agents.
Celebertti and his representatives did not respond to requests for comment. She was previously banned from entering Nicaragua on October 21, while her husband and son have been detained since 2018 on conspiracy charges related to anti-government protests.
The winner of the Miss Universe pageant, Sheynnis Palacios, has not returned to Nicaragua since her victory and currently resides in New York. The government has accused organizers of trying to stage anti-government protests, despite a ban on such demonstrations following a violent crackdown in 2018 that left more than 320 dead.
The case has drawn attention to the current political tensions in Nicaragua and the government's efforts to suppress dissent.