Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Fifteen killed in Nicaragua protests, including Mother’s Day march attack

Fifteen killed in Nicaragua protests, including Mother’s Day march attack

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH), which is in contact with local hospitals, puts the death toll at 16, and reports that 88 people have been injured.

A recent report issued by Amnesty International described the government strategy for containing protests as "shoot to kill".

Nicaragua descended into turmoil in mid-April after the government of Sandinista President Daniel Ortega attempted to overhaul the country's social security system and increase fees.

On May 27, three masked people fired mortar at two guards standing at the main gate of the University of Central America, located in the country's capital of Managua.

"The bishops of Nicaragua have experienced with deep pain, the violent events perpetrated last night by armed groups related to the government against the civil population".

Recall, the protests began in mid-April, the reason for them was the reform of social insurance. Government officials blamed the opposition groups who are seeking to oust Ortega.

The Church in the country has been quick to acknowledge the protestors' complaints and to attempt to mediate peace with the government.

In a sign Ortega was responding to worldwide pressure, the government and the Organization of American states issued a statement saying the head of the electoral commission, Roberto Rivas, had resigned.

Ortega, meanwhile, denounced a "conspiracy" by the opposition aimed at "terrorizing" the people, referring to Wednesday's unrest.

"There are no shock forces or paramilitaries close to the government, so we can not accept that we are accused of tragic and painful events that we have not provoked and we would never provoke", he said in a statement.

Recently a group of mothers of those killed by pro-government forces were attacked at a protest by police and pro-government forces.

More than a dozen people died in shootings that erupted around Mothers' Day protests in Nicaragua, but the government and human rights groups differed Thursday on who was to blame.

"It appears that Ortega is prepared to stay in power no matter the cost, no matter the number of people who have to die", said political analyst Oscar Rene Vargas.

Ortega must "show the willingness to dialogue and accept fundamental changes", said Pellas, 65, who has not previously spoken out publicly about the crisis.

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