Miss Universe winner caught up in ‘coup’ plot as pageant boss accused of ‘trying to overthrow dictator’ in Nicaragua

Miss Universe winner caught up in ‘coup’ plot as pageant boss accused of ‘trying to overthrow dictator’ in Nicaragua

A MISS Universe pageant boss director has been accused of trying to overthrow her country’s dictator by rigging beauty queen contests.

The extraordinary conspiracy claim – which sparked fears of a brutal new crackdown – comes two weeks after Miss Nicaragua became the country’s first-ever winner of the global title.

AFPNicaraguan authorities have banned the entry into the country of the national head of the Miss Universe pageant following the win[/caption]

EPANicaraguan fans of Palacios celebrate after her win last month[/caption]

APPresident Daniel Ortega had celebrated the win, but now his wife Vice President Rosario Murillo says it was ‘coup-mongering’[/caption]

Authoritarian ruler Daniel Ortega celebrated the “legitimate joy and pride” when Sheynnis Palacios was crowned Miss Universe winner last month.

But viral photos of her at a protest five years ago are said to have infuriated the president, 78.

His regime has now accused the national pageant director of a lurid plot to oust him from power.

Nicaraguan police announced Friday that they wanted to arrest pageant director Karen Celebertti for allegedly fixing the competition to favour anti-government beauty queens. 

Nicaragua is ruled by the oppressive Ortega, who has used extrajudicial killings and torture to cement his rule, according to Freedom House.

But, in what seems like it could be the plot of another Austin Powers spy spoof, Ortega’s police forces are now accusing pageant director Karen Celebertti of trying to overthrow the government.

Celebertti is a former beauty queen herself and has run the Nicaraguan contest since 2001.

Palacios wore a white dress and blue cape during the Miss Universe ceremony, which some took to be a reference to the banned national flag.

Photos of the 23-year-old protesting in anti-government protests against Ortega’s rule in 2018 on her personal Facebook account went viral after her win.

Ortega had violently repressed the protests and claimed they were a foreign plot to overthrow his government.

More than 320 were killed by government forces, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Instead of going after the newly crowned Miss Universe, police have gone after the beauty queen boss as the dictator fears a coup.

Celebertti is now wanted for engineering a “foreign-backed plot” over Palacios’ show of support for the pro-democracy demonstrations and was prevented from returning to Nicaragua.

She is reportedly in Mexico and is charged with money laundering, and spreading fake news.

Her husband and son have also been detained on conspiracy charges dating back five years after being arrested at their home.

Police claimed Celebertti “participated actively” in organising the 2018 anti-government protests and “remained in contact with the traitors” employing them in hosting pageants.

Ortega had banned protests, but after Palacios’ pageant victory, many took to the streets to celebrate with some carrying the blue and white national flag instead of the president’s red and black banner.

“In these days of a new victory, we are seeing the evil, terrorist commentators making a clumsy and insulting attempt to turn what should be a beautiful and well-deserved moment of pride into destructive coup-mongering,” Ortega’s wife and vice president Rosario Murillo said.

Palacios has not been named in any charges and is currently living in New York according to reports.

Her Facebook page has been taken down.

GettyMiss Nicaragua Sheynnis Palacios walks onstage during the 72nd Miss Universe Competition[/caption]

EPAOrtega and Murillo rule Nicaragua[/caption]

EPAAnti-government protests in 2018 saw a violent crackdown from the government[/caption]

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