Nuevo Culture

Miss Nicaragua Director Resigns After Accusations of Treason — & Sheynnis Palacios Responds

Karen Celebertti has resigned as the director of the Miss Nicaragua beauty pageant. Her resignation comes less than three weeks after the Nicaraguan government banned her and her daughter from re-entering the country alongside Sheynnis Palacios, who was recently crowned Miss Universe.

In an Instagram statement, Celebritti wrote in Spanish, “Miss Nicaragua always grew up clean of political roots, without discriminating by race, religion or geographical region.” She then went on to thank different cities in Nicaragua.

The Nicaragua government is accusing Celebertti of treason and conspiracy, claims that many believe stem from her past criticism of Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega. According to the BBC, Celebertti’s husband and son, who co-own the Miss Nicaragua franchise with her, have been allegedly arrested and also accused of treason.

In 2019, Celebertti was briefly detained for demanding the release of political prisoners from the country’s capital. Combine that with photos of Palacios at an anti-Ortega rally and activists, the government, and news organizations in Nicaragua are now looking at Palacios’ win as “a symbol of opposition to the Ortega government.”

Palacios has not commented on the politics behind her Miss Universe victory, but she did make a statement on Thursday (December 14) about her experience working with Celebertti over the years.

“Thank you Mrs. Karen Celebertti for all the time we worked together, from my previous preparation, to the final competition in El Salvador,” she wrote. “You have been both a mentor and a friend. The love for our country shines in everything you do and I can’t wait to see what comes your way next. For me, it was an honor to represent our country on that stage and I hope to continue making you and our country proud.”

Rosario Murillo, Vice President of Nicaragua and wife of Ortega, said a few days after Palacios was crowned that people are looking to “turn a beautiful and well-deserved moment of pride and celebration into a destructive coup.”

Nicaraguan police also claim Celebertti has helped “turn pageants into political traps and political ambushes, financed by foreign agents.”