Nicaraguans living abroad demand the cease of repression to Ortega´s government

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During the last few days in Nicaragua, young students and the Nicaraguan population in general, alongside retired pensioners have taken to the streets in rejection to the imposed reforms to the social security system (INSS). Reduced pensions, extended quotas for retirees designed to finance health expenditures to which they are already entitled to and an across the board hike of both employees’ and employers’ contribution quotas.

Since the 18th of this month, protests erupted that where confronted by Daniel Ortega’s government with motorized groups, delinquent gangs and shock groups that harassed, robbed, beat and injured protesters. At least four journalists were injured and their equipment sacked. A young journalist named Julio César López, suffered severe head trauma due the beatings he sustained. On the 19th, protests continued, extending themselves to various cities in the country. The students from the Central American University (UCA), a Jesuit school, and the Polytechnic University (UPOLI), a Baptist school, along public institutions like the Agrarian University (UNA) and the University of Engineering (UNI), have manifested against the measurements implemented with regards to social security and the subsequent governmental reactions to the initial protests. Likewise citizens from the main cities: Managua, Masaya, León, Bluefields and Estelí, among others have joined the protests as well.

The police and pro-government shock groups have attacked protesters with rubber bullets and live ammunition alike. The Red Cross and other Rescue services have been impeded of doing their jobs in assisting wounded citizens at the localities of the protests, the task remaining to private citizens to evacuate the wounded to other locations to receive proper medical assistance.

At the moment, four deaths have been officially registered, one law enforcement official, as a result of Thursday night’s violent outbreaks. The government in turn order the silencing of transmissions of the following television stations: 100% Noticias, Channel 23 and Channel 51, the latter the official channel of the Nicaraguan Catholic Church. This blatant act of censorship was in reprisal of the national news coverage given to the protests by these networks.

We, as Nicaraguans living abroad, some that are even contributors to the social security system,  that possess bonds of affection with family members, friends and spouses that are currently experiencing the immediate impacts of these government actions, demand the immediate end the repression against citizen and young Nicaraguans by the government of President Daniel Ortega. We demand an intersectional dialogue between, employers, employees, independent economists, universities and other social organizations in order to find an exit to the immediate crisis of the social security system (INSS), suspending Decree N°03-2018 that reform the system of contributions and pensions.

We call on the international community to be vigilant on the events transpiring in Nicaragua and to express their solidarity once again to the people of Nicaragua, especially to the youths that have once again brought the country to its feet.