Rights group says 121 dead in weeks of Nicaragua protests

Rights group say more than 1,300 people have been wounded in violence

Afp June 06, 2018

MANAGUA: At least 121 people have been killed in a wave of protests since April 18 against President Daniel Ortega's government, Nicaragua's main human rights group said Tuesday.

The latest toll includes a young boy killed by gunfire during clashes Tuesday in the city of Granada between anti-government protesters and riot police, the Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights said.

It said 1,300 people had been wounded in the violence.

A parish priest, Wilmer Perez, earlier told the 100% news channel that the boy was killed in a confrontation between demonstrators and pro-government supporters trying to clear a barricade in the city, 45 kilometres (28 miles) south of the capital Managua.

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Ten people were killed in running battles over the weekend in the flashpoint city of Masaya, the centre said.

Residents armed with homemade mortars and slingshots faced off in clashes with what they said were paramilitary forces and riot police loyal to Ortega, who has dominated the Central American country's politics for four decades.

The Catholic Church initially tried to mediate the conflict, but called off the talks after a crackdown on a march led by victims' mothers on Wednesday left another 16 people dead.

Nicaragua death toll hits 100 as Ortega vows to remain

On Monday, Ortega's wife and vice president, Rosario Murillo — a figure widely reviled by the protesters — made an appeal to return to dialogue.

"We all want peace, we want dialogue, we want to work together and listen to each other, discuss all issues, because there's a solution for everything," she told state media.

"Let's not keep suffering losses, pain, mourning in our families."

The Church has said talks are impossible as long as "the people continue to be repressed and killed" by "groups close to the government."


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