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Journalist shot dead during live broadcast at Nicaragua protests

24 April, 2018, 03:28 | Author: Samuel Sharp
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Anti-government protests in Nicaragua entered a fifth day today as the death toll from the violence rose and looting was reported in some areas, aggravating the crisis around longstanding President Daniel Ortega.

Seconds later a gunshot rings out and Gahona slumps lifeless to the kerb.

Soldiers were also sent to the city of Esteli - some 149 kilometers north of Managua to guard public institutions.

Families of United States diplomats were given the option to leave Nicaragua on Monday after fiery protests erupted in the country over changes to the country's social care system.

Nicaragua "needs to comply with their worldwide obligations to guarantee that people are able to freely express their rights of freedom of expression and freedom to peacefully assemble", UN Human Rights Office spokeswoman Liz Throssell said in a statement. Parts of Managua were rubble-strewn where demonstrators had faced off against riot police the night before.

In the face of sustained protests and an ultimatum from the business sector known as COSEP, President Daniel Ortega has caved in. He also seemed to try to justify what has been a heavy-handed response by the government and allied groups, accusing demonstrators, majority university students, of being manipulated by unspecified "minority" political interests and of being infiltrated by gangsters.

"What is happening in our country has no name". The government puts the number of dead at 10. The kids do not even know the party that is manipulating them.

Ensuing unrest killed at least eight people and sparked looting and panic buying, but protests in Managua died down considerably after Ortega's announcement, according to Reuters witnesses. However, Ortega has declined to do so and said he plans to prosecute them.

From the Vatican, Pope Francis said he was "very worried" about the situation in the Central American nation and joined local bishops in seeking an end to all violence.

The reforms, issued by decree, increase income and payroll taxes and make changes to pensions to try to shore up Nicaragua's troubled social security system.

Those remarks appeared to fan the flames, as soon afterward thousands of people spilled back into the streets in seven cities.

A former Marxist guerrilla and Cold War antagonist of the US, Ortega has presided over a period of stable growth with a blend of socialist policies and capitalism.

One of demonstrators in thousands of number at the central rotunda, Mauri Hernandez said in in a statement that, "We are in the streets asking for Ortega and his wife to go".

The government approved the social security changes Wednesday in an effort to stop the widening deficit in the social security system.


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