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Violent protests against federal policy changes erupt in Nicaragua

By Danielle Silvia
Copy Editor

Violent protests have been erupting throughout Nicaragua since April 18, according to The New York Times.

The Nicaraguan government reported that at least 10 people have died and 100 people have been injured, according to BBC.

However, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights reported 43 deaths as a result of the protests, according to CNN.

This series of protests has become the most prevalent since the end of the country’s civil war more than 30 years ago, according to The New York Times.

Protesters demand that Ortega step down from the presidency. (AP Photo)
A protester holds a sign that reads “Out Ortega.” (AP Photo)

The protesters, largely composed of college students and pensioners, ventured out of the capital city Managua into several other cities. Government buildings have been set ablaze, according to BBC.

Troops were deployed in several cities to protect some government buildings, according to Univision.

Among the dead were two protesters, a policeman and a journalist covering the event for a local newspaper, according to CNN.

Recent changes to the social security policy have focused on increasing the pension contributions for employers as well as the reduction of overall benefits. Under the new changes, the benefits retired workers receive through their pensions will decrease by up to 5 percent, according to The New York Times.

The new changes will take effect on July 1, according to BBC.

“If in the talks we find a better way of carrying out these reforms, this decree can be amended or replaced by a new one,” said Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, according to BBC.

The U.S. State Department supports the peaceful resolution that the Nicaraguan government is working toward by openly talking with the protesters to stop the violence, according to CNN.

“We condemn the violence and the excessive force used by police and others against civilians who are exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression and assembly,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert in a statement, according to CNN.

The protests have garnered worldwide attention on social media. A Nicaraguan reporter was killed while filming the violent events on Facebook Live, according to The New York Times.

The violence reached a peak on April 20 in several cities, however by the next morning, the Nicaraguan government appeared to have some control over the situation. Army troops have been deployed to Managua, according to BBC.


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