At least three dead, including police officer, in Nicaragua protests

Ruben Hill
April 24, 2018

Nicaraguans in Costa Rica gathered to support their country.

The pope said he was "very anxious about what is happening these days in Nicaragua", where citizens took to the streets beginning April 18 after the government announced changes to the nation's social security system.

News wires have reported that the most recent protests grew from public anger over an Ortega government push to increase worker contributions to the country's social security system, while simultaneously lowering pensions offered by the system.

Ortega has been heavily criticized for his handling of the crisis, which led to the deaths of 25 people. The proposed pension cuts which caused the violence have now been reversed.

Sixty-seven people have so far been shot with either live rounds or rubber bullets or physically assaulted by pro-government groups.

Police had clashed with students bunkered down at the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua on Sunday night, and one died after being shot while five others were treated for injuries, Bassett Guido, a Red Cross spokeswoman, told Reuters by telephone on Monday.

"We hope that such a dialogue will address the issues with Nicaragua's social security system, and that the government upholds freedom of expression while demonstrating progress in investigating and prosecuting those responsible for attacking protesters and press freedoms". In an April 22 tweet, he urged the president to engage in constructive dialogue.

"This violent retaliation against Nicaraguan citizens exercising their legitimate right to protest is appalling, particularly for a government whose origins lie in protest and social movements", said Geoff Thale, Vice President of Programs at WOLA.

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!"

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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