Nicaragua: Ortega Scraps Pension Reforms After Deadly Protests

23 April, 2018, 21:49 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Inti Ocon AFP | Students clash with riot police at the Institute of Social Security in Managua

Families of USA diplomats were given the option to leave Nicaragua on Monday after fiery protests erupted in the country over changes to the country's social care system.

Disturbances turned increasingly violent on Friday afternoon and night, with the police using tear gas and live rounds against protesters armed with home-made banners and rocks.

"The young journalist was covering Saturday night vandalism and criminal acts when these murderers put an end to his life after shooting him in the head", El 19 Digital said on its website.

The decree calls for increases in income and payroll taxes, as well as changes to the pension system to shore up Nicaragua's troubled social security system.

Neither authorities in Managua, nor Lissett Guido, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Nicaragua, were immediately able to independently confirm details of the incident, which quickly spread onto national, worldwide and social media.

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"We demand that the Nicaraguan government cease the brutal attacks against the demonstrators and the civilian population", the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights said in a joint statement with the International Federation for Human Rights.

The United States ordered today that relatives of its diplomats working in Nicaragua immediately leave the country, mired in protests against the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

The unrest erupted Wednesday over pension reforms, with students a prominent group. The group said talks could not begin until the government ended police violence, released those who had been arrested for demonstrating peacefully, and re-established freedom of speech.

Bishop Baez also tweeted that he was calling on military and police forces to end the repression against protesters and "to listen to God's voice in their hearts: 'Thou shall not kill!" Nicabus, an global bus line with links to Costa Rica and Honduras, said it has been forced to suspend services due to the violence.

The protests have been the worst of Ortega's 11-year rule, and the president had tough words for the demonstrators, saying they were behaving like criminal gangs.

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Those remarks appeared to fan the flames, and soon afterward thousands of people spilled back into the streets in seven cities.

Angel Gahona, the journalist shot and killed during a live broadcast from the town of Bluefields, Nicaragua is seen on this undated picture obtained April 22, 2018 from social media.

The center's director, Vilma Nunez, warned that there was "a lot of misinformation" going around that made obtaining the figure hard. Ortega said he had canceled the welfare-overhaul initiative.

"We are in the streets asking for Ortega and his wife to go".

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