Miami-Dade County

Nicaraguan pulls out of Miami Fashion Week amid controversy over Daniel Ortega's daughter

The designer Shantall Lacayo and Camila Ortega Murillo founded the Nicaragua Diseña platform. At Lacayo's fashion show, scheduled for June 1 at Miami Fashion Week, Ortega, daughter of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, was supposed to attend, according to organizations of Nicaraguan exiles that coordinated protest in Miami.
The designer Shantall Lacayo and Camila Ortega Murillo founded the Nicaragua Diseña platform. At Lacayo's fashion show, scheduled for June 1 at Miami Fashion Week, Ortega, daughter of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, was supposed to attend, according to organizations of Nicaraguan exiles that coordinated protest in Miami. Nicaragua Diseña

The possible presence of Camila Ortega Murillo, daughter of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, at Miami Fashion Week has set social networks on fire because of the Nicaraguan leader's repressive acts against anti-government protests in the Central American country.

Calls to protest the fashion show by Nicaraguan designer Shantall Lacayo — who with Camila founded Nicaragua Diseña, a platform for promoting the country's designers, in 2012 — led her to cancel her show scheduled for Friday at the Ice Palace Films Studios, 59 NW 14th St.

Various groups of Nicaraguan activists in Miami who called for the protests claimed Lacayo was going to be joined in Miami by Camila Ortega Murillo, daughter of the president and Rosario Murillo, vice president of the country.

Lacayo's fashion show was to take place amid a bloody political crisis in Nicaragua, with Amnesty International reporting 83 deaths over 42 days of protests against Ortega and Murillo.

In a statement sent to el Nuevo Herald, Lacayo wrote that because of “the confusion generated around me” she was canceling her show for Miami Fashion Week 2018.

"Because of the situation that my country, Nicaragua, is facing now, and because of the baseless speculations, I have decided, together with my team, to cancel my participation (in the event) to which I had been invited to present my resort collection 2019," Lacayo wrote, adding that she wanted privacy for her and her family.

The Nicaraguan rum Flor de Caña, which was sponsoring Lacayo's show, posted “an official clarification” on Twitter Tuesday that it would not participate in Miami Fashion Week.

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Camila Ortega, right, attends a mass with her parents, Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, in July 2004, in Managua. Esteban Felix AP Photo

Renato Jose Novoa, a leader of the Facebook page Nicas Unidos en Miami who called for protests against Lacayo's show after receiving an anonymous report that Ortega's daughter would be present, said the show would be “stained with blood.”

“The show is organized with the money of the people, people who have shed their blood. They are representing the Ortega dynasty, which stole the money … to put on its fashion shows,” Novoa said.

He added that one of Lacayo's posts on social networks, later deleted, announced that Camila Ortega would be present at the Miami show.

Novoa, who also runs the Facebook page Nicaragua, One Country, One People, One Future, said the calls for protests against the show won immediate support on social networks.

Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Tweeted that “Ortega unleashes national policy of abusing (human rights) and killing students while his daughter Camila comes to my district for @MiamiFashionWk to enjoy the freedoms that we have in this great country and which her family denies to the people of Nicaragua.”

Nicaragua-born Republican activist Ana Navarro also Tweeted that Lacayo was organizing a fashion show in Miami, home to hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans.

“The Spanish word for protest is planton,” Navarro wrote.

Novoa said groups of Nicaraguan exiles already had applied for a police permit to protest in front of the Ice Palace office.

Lacayo, who participated in the TV show Project Runway Latin America, founded Nicaragua Diseña with Camila Ortega after she returned from studying design in Argentina.

The 30-year-old Camila Ortega, a former model, has helped her mother with different tasks. She is also head of TV Channel 13, which broadcasts news and entertainment but has been widely accused of failing to cover her country's political crisis.

Follow Sarah Moreno on Twitter: @SarahMorenoENH

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