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Bishops in Nicaragua condemn attacks on protesters

Bishops in Nicaragua condemn attacks on protesters

On Thursday, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights released a statement saying 16 people had been killed and 88 injured during the clashes. But Ortega only appeared to dig in deeper, defying seven weeks of antigovernment protests that have left more than 100 people dead.

Unsatisfied with the government's withdrawal of the reforms, protesters are now calling on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, who serves as vice president, to step down.

Nicaragua's bishops have attempted to broker a peaceful solution to the unrest in the country and convened a national dialogue earlier in May.

On May 27, three masked people fired mortar at two guards standing at the main gate of the University of Central America, located in the country's capital of Managua.

AI explained, "The government would appear to be using this "shock" tactic of attacks carried out by private individuals as part of a strategy in order to make the subsequent identification of those responsible for human rights violations more hard and to increase its capacity for repression". Government officials blamed the opposition groups who are seeking to oust Ortega.

The government and opposition had agreed on Monday to resume peace talks mediated by the Catholic Church that stalled last week.




In a sign Ortega was responding to worldwide pressure, the government and the Organization of American states issued a statement saying the head of the electoral commission, Roberto Rivas, had resigned.

The U.S. Department of State issued a press statement on Thursday condemning the Nicaraguan government's response to peaceful protests, "including assaults on mothers mourning their children killed since protests began April 18".

Recently a group of mothers of those killed by pro-government forces were attacked at a protest by police and pro-government forces.

"(We) condemn all of these acts of repression on the part of groups close to the government and we want to leave it clear the national dialogue talks can not continue while the Nicaraguan people continue being denied their right to protest", the prelates said.

In a speech to thousands of supporters in Managua Wednesday night, he vowed to remain in power.

The comments by Carlos Pellas, who controls the vast Grupo Pellas empire, came as a surprise as the powerful industrialist and other business leaders have traditionally supported Ortega.


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