Nicaragua Protests Call on President Ortega to Resign | NowThis World

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  • Published on:  Sunday, July 15, 2018
  • Nicaragua is in the midst of its deadliest unrest since the country's civil war - which ended after decades of violence and instability in 1990.
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    Hundreds have died amid government crackdowns on protests calling for President Daniel Ortega to step down.

    Citizens, activists, and journalists alike are calling attention to the crisis, which they say has been vastly underreported by western media.

    One of those people is Dánae Vílchez, a Nicaraguan journalist who has been covering the Nicaragua protests since May. We spoke to her from the capital city of Managua, Nicaragua where much of the violence is taking place. She helped put in context just how bad things have gotten.

    Over the last two months, those calling for Ortega to resign have been met with resistance from pro-government paramilitary forces.

    Amnesty International recently reported that Ortega's government is colluding with paramilitary groups, and accusing the police of intentionally allowing perpetrators of violence to flee the scene. The order from the government, the report claims, is to "shoot to kill." The government has denied any connection or responsibility to the killings.

    Regional human rights group, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, has been tracking the violence, and reports more than more than 300 people been killed and upwards of one thousand people injured. They have denounced the government's excessive use of force, illegal detentions, censorship of the press "and other forms of intimidation," including the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators as well as several police officers.

    The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was granted access to investigate the violence and even the UN has called for access. But Ortega has indicated he does not plan to step down.

    Still, people hope that Ortega could face international persecution, even if he can't be brought to justice in his home country.

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    NowThis World is dedicated to bringing you topical explainers about the world around you. Each week we’ll be exploring current stories in international news, by examining the facts, providing historical context, and outlining the key players involved. We’ll also highlight powerful countries, ideologies, influential leaders, and ongoing global conflicts that are shaping the current landscape of the international community across the globe today.
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