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Political Unrest in Nicaragua
July 31, 2018
by Susan Meiselas
On April 18, mass demonstrations broke out in response to proposed changes in Nicaragua's social security policies. Protestors have called for President Daniel Ortega to resign so that democratic institutions can be restored. Over 200 protestors have been killed and thousands injured due to the violent reaction from armed police and paramilitary forces associated with Ortega's regime. Multiple human rights organizations have denounced that the Nicaraguan government has used excessive and unnecessary force against peaceful demonstrators and demanded justice for those who have been arbitrarily detained. Hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets to participate in "La Marcha de Las Flores" (the March of Flowers), which was dedicated to the children and teenage victims. Outside the capital, civilians erected barricades in their neighborhoods and constructed road blocks to cut off traffic along the Pan American highway. The towns of Masaya, Jinotepe, Jinotega and Matagalpa, along with many others, have been vigilant around their barricades, controlling entry to protect their communities and defending themselves with homemade mortars. This is not a civil war, it is a national civic insurrection, with the goal of creating conditions to provoke a national dialogue.

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