World 10-07-2018

The "cleaning operation" that made Nicaragua live the bloodiest day since the protests against Daniel Ortega began

Nicaragua on Sunday experienced its bloodiest day in almost three months the protests against President Daniel Ortega, according to the estimates of the main local body for the defense of human rights.

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) reported on Monday that 38 people died that day, among opponents, police and shock forces loyal to the Executive.

The president of Cenidh, Vilma Núñez, said that 35 people died in the municipalities of Diriamba and Jinotepe , in the department of Carazo, and three more in the northern department of Matagalpa .

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Núñez said that 31 of the deceased were government opponents who were in the roadblocks, four belonged to the police and three were members of the so-called "shock forces" of the Executive.

Initially the organization had reported a minimum of 14 deaths, but had warned that there could be more.

"Ortega began his clean-up plan, his extermination plan," he told Nunez later told BBC World.

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For its part, the Nicaraguan government, through a statement issued on Monday afternoon, simply said that it had fulfilled its constitutional duty to restore order and free movement in the country.

"In the face of the daily suffering imposed on Nicaraguan families that since April 18 of this year have suffered the violence of terrorists who have murdered, tortured, and kidnapped hundreds of citizens ... it is up to the State to act in accordance with the law," he says. the government's statement.

Since the protests began three months ago, the bloodiest day had been on April 22.

On that day, according to data from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), 21 people died, which helped turn what began as a protest against a reform of the pension system into a real uprising against the president Ortega.

"Operation cleaning"

The "cleaning operation" to remove the barricades and barricades that the population had in Jinotepe, Diriamba and several municipalities of Matagalpa, began at dawn on Sunday, with the participation of the police and armed civilians loyal to Ortega.

"The repression in Nicaragua continues: pro-government armed groups supported by the police enter the cities in a massive way: shootings and a burst of bullets, " the executive secretary of the IACHR, Paulo Abrao, reported almost immediately on Twitter.

The organization, which has a permanent mission of monitoring and monitoring the situation in the Central American country, has denounced numerous violations of human rights by the State of Nicaragua.

"The State has violated the right to life, the right to demonstrate, the right to freedom of information," Abrao told BBC Mundo last week.

The Nicaraguan government, for its part, has tried to defend itself by denouncing the organization's reports as biased .

"There is responsibility for violence everywhere, there have been deaths on all sides, there have been excesses on all sides," Nicaraguan Minister Paul Oquist told BBC World last week.

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But according to figures from organizations such as Cenidh, which accounts for 251 people killed in recent months in the context of the protests, the vast majority of the dead are opponents.

And the same affirm other organizations, such as the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH), which already recorded at least 309 deaths before the attacks of the weekend to Carazo and Matagalpa.

Add religious

On Monday also pro-government militants attacked priests in the cathedral of Diriamba , in the west of the country.

The religious traveled to that town to assist residents who were sheltering inside the local cathedral.

However, the government's shock forces stormed into the cathedral and struck and lightly wounded the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, Monsignor Silvio Báez - the most critical bishop of the government - and Monsignor Miguel Mántica.

The "cleanup days" are given after Ortega delivered a speech last Saturday saying that there will be elections when the law sends it in 2021 and not in 2019 as the Organization of American States (OAS), the Church and the Nicaraguan opposition.

"Here the rules puts the Constitution of the Republic through the village, the rules can not come to change s of overnight simply because it happened to a group of putschists , " Ortega said in a march organized in Managua .

The electoral law of Nicaragua establishes presidential elections every 5 years and the next ones are scheduled for 2021.

BBC Mundo

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