Miss Nicaragua pageant director to retire after Ortega govt. accuses her of ‘conspiracy’

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,” Celebertti wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “I know that there will always be more opportunities for us.”

It was 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.”

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 Celebertti and her daughter Luciana from entering the country on Nov. 22, after they attended Palacios’ coronation and accompanied her on a short trip to Mexico.

Later it was announced that the police raided 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 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.