The United States renewed a travel alert in which it urges its citizens to avoid moving to Nicaragua due to violent repression against demonstrators seeking to overthrow President Daniel Ortega, the State Department said.
"In Nicaragua, uniformed armed and violent police officers or plainclothes civilians acting as police officers (" parapolicías ") persecute anyone who is considered an opponent of President Ortega's government," says the communication.
More than 400 people have been killed and hundreds have been detained since the protests began in April, according to human rights organizations, although the government says some 200 people have died.
"The government and its associated armed groups have arbitrarily detained demonstrators, with credible accusations of torture and disappearances," he adds.
At the same time, the State Department issued an order for its non-emergency personnel and family members to leave Nicaragua, allowing the US embassy to remain open for emergency services as it returns to normal tasks, the alert said.
According to the State Department, anti-government rallies and protests occur daily throughout the country, and security forces, uniformed police and para-police are attacking peaceful protesters, which has caused significant numbers of deaths and injuries.
The alert also warns Americans in Nicaragua to avoid demonstrations, crowds, barricades and barriers, which have reserves of water, food and fuel and remain where they are.