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  HOME | Central America

Casualties, Arrests, Unemployment Rise as Nicaragua Protests Continue

MANAGUA – Another person died on Friday from his injuries as anti-government protests continued to roil Nicaragua.

Luis Enrique Montaño died in a hospital where he had been admitted since July 14 after he was injured in northern Somoto municipality, Vice President and First Lady Rosario Murillo told official media.

The opposition Civic Alliance had urged the government, led by President Daniel Ortega, to call for early elections to resolve the crisis that has left between 317-448 people dead, according to humanitarian organizations, and 195 according to the government.

The crisis also led to the self-exile of singer Carlos Mejia Godoy, over security concerns.

“I had to leave Nicaragua because my life was in danger,” Mejia Godoy, a critic of the government, told the La Prensa newspaper.

Students at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua also alleged that one of their classmates, Ivonne Morales, was abducted by masked men in Managua, after he danced publicly to a traditional protest song.

Hundreds of farmers also marched on Friday, demanding the release of political prisoners and the resignation of Ortega and Murillo.

The protests have also left at least 70,000 people jobless in the tourism industry, according to the National Chamber of Tourism President Lucy Valenti.

She added that until the end of June, 80 percent of small hotels had closed down, while in Managua, occupancy rate had fallen between 12-14 percent as opposed to the regular 67 percent.

Protests against Ortega, who has been accused of corruption and abuse of power, started on April 18 over a set of social security reforms and had led to repeated calls for him to step down.

 

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