At least one TV station taken in by fake clipping from newspaper

At least one local television station has been hoaxed by a fake reprint critical of conditions at the Costa Rican consulate in Managua.

Someone emailed to news outlets what appears to be a copy of a page from the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa. The headline says there is disorder at the consulate and appears to have been written by the news agency ACAN-EFE. Three photos show a crush of persons, presumably Nicaraguans seeking Costa Rican visas.

Embassy officials in Nicaragua took the email seriously enough to call it an anonymous libel. In an email to news outlets, the embassy noted that both the newspaper La Prensa and the news agency disavowed the supposed news story. Included was a note from Luis Felipe Palacio of the news agency saying the supposed story was unprofessional and certainly was not written by his staffers or staffers of any other news agency in Nicaragua.

The photos also appear to have been taken at another activity elsewhere.

The embassy said that a Costa Rica television station aired the information without checking with the news agencies, La Prensa or Javier Sancho Bonilla, the Costa Rican ambassador.

The embassy statement said that there was disorder outside the installation but blamed local Nicaragua officials for permitting all sorts of street vendors, taxi drivers and others doing business. Inside, business was normal with some 900 visas being issued daily.

The fake email certainly points out the ease with which someone can fake a news story or some other official document with Photoshop or some other type of graphic program. The embassy in Nicaragua sent its statement as a bitmapped graphic that could not be manipulated easily. Casa Presidencial puts its news releases and photos in a Google file that others can access only to download.

The offending fake news clipping

The offending fake news clipping

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