#SOSNicaragua: Nearly 300 Deaths After 3 Months of Contestation and Violence

      The International Community, including the United States and the UN, are strongly condemning violence of Nicaraguan paramilitaries against students, journalists, and clergy. Every day, people are being killed by Nicaraguan police and paramilitary forces. Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the violence has reached its peak in three months. Nearly 300 dead and 2000 wounded. This is the bloodiest unrest in Nicaragua since the civil war, which ended in 1990.

       Antonio Guterres was in San José, Costa Rica alongside President Carlos Alvarado. UN Secretary-General stated that “It’s absolutely essential that the violence ceases immediately because the only acceptable solution in Nicaragua is a political one.” Heavily armed and masked, paramilitaries and government men, supported by snipers, provoke scenes of panic by bursting into towns and villages to dismantle the barricades of protesters. Masaya, the most rebel city in the country, about 30 kilometers south of the capital, has become the epicenter of violence.

     The protest movement against Daniel Ortega’s government, whose students are spearheading, started on April 18th. The protesters initially denounced its intention to reduce pensions to fill the Social Security deficit. The movement has since turned into a challenge to the power in place after several deaths. The 72-year-old head of state since 2007 after having already led the country from 1979 to 1990, is accused of having harshly repressed demonstrations and set up with his wife, Rosario Murillo, who occupies Vice President. A “dictatorship” marked by corruption and nepotism. His opponents demand early elections or his departure.

(Picture of a funeral, following 10 shot dead by the police and paramilitary forces in Masaya on July 16, 2018).

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