Three dead in raid by Nicaragua pro-government forces: CENIDH

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Managua | Updated: July 9, 2018 4:24:48 AM

A raid by pro-government forces left at least three people dead in Nicaragua, where more than 230 people have been killed since unrest broke out in April, a rights group has said.

Demonstrators stand behind a barricade at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua (Image: File photo/REUTERS)

A raid by pro-government forces left at least three people dead in Nicaragua, where more than 230 people have been killed since unrest broke out in April, a rights group has said.

“There are three dead now, two in Diriamba and one in Jinotepe,” said Vilma Nunez, president of the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENIDH) yesterday. According to videos filmed by residents and posted on social media, heavily armed groups of men in civilian clothes with black hoods were seen in the Diriamba and Jinotepe areas.

The latest unrest comes after President Daniel Ortega on Saturday ruled out early elections, after previously remaining silent on the proposal by the influential Catholic hierarchy.

“The situation is serious. There is an undue attack by government forces that is causing bloodshed, more death and mourning in our country,” said Alvaro Leiva, the executive secretary of the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of Ortega, a former leftist guerrilla who came to power with the popular uprising that defeated dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979, and retook the presidency in 2007 after a vote. Now he himself has been accused of authoritarianism. Protests first sparked by since-aborted pension reforms quickly broadened into a rejection of the president and calls for him to go.

Roman Catholic bishops are working to mediate dialogue between the government and opposition in a bid to end the protests and government repression that have wracked the country since April 18.

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