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Nicaragua Clamps Down on Protests over Ortega’s Electoral Fraud

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Nov 30, 2016, 3:56 pm
Nicaraguan protests.
The government has cracked down on Nicaraguans protesting alleged electoral fraud committed by President Ortega (La Prensa).

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Nicaraguan civil society organizations have issued a report denouncing the repression of the people who are attempting to protest on December 1 in the capital of that country against the Interoceanic Canal and against what they consider to be electoral fraud.

The government crackdown began last Sunday, November 27 when “the security forces of the regime moved to intercept all the areas where the citizens are concentrating, in order to march to Managua.”

According to the report, various owners of transportation companies are being threatened with loss of their transportation licenses, if they allow their vehicles to  participate in the caravan.

“People traveling by public transport are being subjected to intimidation, and illegal searches by the National Police,” reports said. They also indicate that in several municipalities the police have carried out tear gas attacks as well as used lead and rubber bullets against the civilian population.

Journalists, drivers, women, students, and opposition politicians alike have been attacked by Nicaraguan law enforcement forces while President Daniel Ortega is in Cuba representing Nicaragua at Fidel Castro‘s funeral.

The attacks by the anti-riot police have left several people with minor injuries, as well as three wounded, and one in serious condition.

“The country has been militarized, with the intent of preventing the determined advance of the Nicaraguan people who desire to participate in the caravan in question” indicate the organizations in the report released by the Nicaraguan media. Various human rights groups have called into question the actions taken by the government in response to the protests.

Left-leaning Daniel Ortega was president of Nicaragua from 1985 to 1990, and then resumed power in 2006. Though he was reelected by a large margin in 2016, he has recently been criticized by a wide range of groups for his plans to build a China-backed canal through Nicaragua to compete with the Panama Canal.

Source: La Prensa

Elena Toledo Elena Toledo

Educator by trade, social-media apprentice, activist for a democratic Honduras, and free thinker. Follow her on Twitter @NenaToledo.