The Human Rights Center of Nicaragua, an independent organization of the Government, reports that there are at least 25 dead and 64 injured. The employers and the church criticize the performance of the security forces.
The situation worsened in Nicaragua, on the fourth day followed by protests against the regime of Daniel Ortega .
The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, an independent organisation of the Government, already has 25 dead and 64 wounded. On the Caribbean coast, journalist Angel Gahona, of the local news agency “El Meridiano”, is victim of a bullet to the head, according to local media reports.
Silvio Baez, auxiliary bishop of Managua said that the “riot police fired at a crowd of about 2,000 young people protesting in the atrium of the parish of Santiago, in Jinotepe, a city located 32 kilometers from Managua.”
The protesters oppose a Social Security reform.
The protests began on Wednesday in the capital, when hundreds of critics of the government gathered in a shopping mall. The reform proposed by Ortega reduced pensions by 5% and increases the contributions of companies and workers to rescue the Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security (INSS). The government aims to raise 250 million dollars (203 million euros), but economists warn that the reforms will hit the companies and will result in unemployment.
The tension have escalated
This Saturday, the government’s response came hours after the Nicaraguan business leadership rejected the dialogue offered by the president and demanded a cessation of repression and respect for the right of demonstrations of Nicaraguans. Ortega ordered the deployment of the Army in key cities of the country , including the capital, where the military guarded public buildings, after official structures were burned down in various parts of Nicaragua Friday.
On Saturday night, detonations were heard in several points of Managua, while the population took cobblestones off the streets to build barricades to protect themselves from the assault of the riot police and the FSLN collectives.
Thousands of capitalists demonstrated on Saturday afternoon, singing the National Anthem and knocking down “Trees of Life”, metal monuments that are considered symbols of the power of Ortega in Nicaragua.
The current situation in Managua – a ghost town – reminded the elderly capitalists of what they experienced four decades ago, when they fought to overthrow the Somoza dictatorship, which oppressed Nicaragua for almost five decades.
Ortega – who had not shown his face during the crisis – appeared at noon on Saturday, local time, surrounded by the Army, Julio Cesar Aviles, in a demonstration of strength that sought to crush any doubt of the power of the regime.
The president criticized the demonstrators, comparing them with gangs that bleed the north of Central America and said that his only interlocutor to get out of the crisis was private enterprise. Four hours later, the business leaders rejected the offer of dialogue with Ortega and demanded an end to the repression. What it means a breaking point in the relations between businessmen and the Executive, which shows that the Commander remains more and more alone.
The official response was to unleash an unprecedented wave of violence.
Officially the figure of ten died, but civil organisations already spoke of a score, among them the journalist of Bluefields, Angel Gahona. Independent journalists had reported that they did not have guarantees to carry out their work in Nicaragua.
As of Saturday, at least twelve reporters had been violently assaulted.
Some of them also indicted the theft of their equipment. Nicaragua has lseen since last Wednesday extraordinary popular demonstrations that have already become a real rebellion against the Ortega regime.
The president tries to demonstrate control of the country, but the protests have been spreading like a powder keg. Ortega seems determined to resort to the extreme solution: to deny any negotiated solution and to intensify the repression.
The Commander seems to despise the lessons of a past, of which he was a part.