Miss Nicaragua Pageant Director Announces Her Retirement After Accusations of ‘Conspiracy’

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
December 13, 2023Americas
Miss Nicaragua Pageant Director Announces Her Retirement After Accusations of ‘Conspiracy’
The newly crowned Miss Universe 2023, Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua, waves after winning the 72th edition of the Miss Universe pageant, in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Nov. 18, 2023. (Marvin Recinos/AFP via Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY—The director of the Miss Nicaragua pageant, Karen Celebertti, on Monday announced her retirement from the organization, nine days after the Nicaraguan police accused her of “conspiracy” and other crimes along with her husband and son, who are detained.

“The time has come for my retirement,” Ms. Celebertti wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “I know that there will always be more opportunities for us.”

It was Ms. Celebertti’s first public statement after the scandal that followed the coronation of Sheynnis Palacios as Miss Universe on Nov. 18 in El Salvador.

The businesswoman said that she worked for 23 years “with zeal and effort” until Nicaragua won the world beauty crown this year, which she described “as an achievement for everyone” and “for every Nicaraguan, without political distinction.”

Ms. Palacios’ surprise victory in the contest unleashed demonstrations of joy in the streets of Nicaragua, prompting criticism by the government of Daniel Ortega.

According to the local press, immigration authorities prevented Ms. Celebertti and her daughter Luciana from entering the country on Nov. 22, after they attended Ms. Palacios’ coronation and accompanied her on a short trip to Mexico.

Later it was announced that the police raided Ms. Celebertti’s home in the southwest of Managua and arrested her husband, Martín Argüello, and their son, Bernardo.

Without confirming the arrest, the authorities accused the three members of the Argüello Celebertti family on Dec. 2 of the crimes of treason, conspiracy and “organized crime.”

A statement by the National Police claimed Ms. 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.

By Gabriela Selser

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