This week has marked the fourth month since April 19, 2018, the day when the Nicaraguan government launched a violent response to demonstrations about a social security reform.
In 126 days, 322 people have been murdered as a result of lethal violence by police and paramilitary forces while hundreds more are wounded, have disappeared or are incarcerated according to OAS’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Now that the police has stopped shooting protesters in broad daylight and barricades have been dismantled, the Ortega-Murillo regime claims the country has returned to normal. Media attention is fading. Tourism campaigns are launched.
I interviewed Álvaro Carrión, a 19-year-old Nicaraguan and former university student, on the situation of his country. For him, the government has simply changed strategy to silence its citizens.
“The repression is no longer for everyone to see. The government now knows who it wants to target to arrest, sentence and torture,“ he tells me over the phone.
Álvaro fled to the US two days after he had seen his name on the police’s black list for participating in civic protests and barricades.
Reports say that 132 citizens are charged for “murder, organized crime and terrorism” under the regime’s new anti-terrorism law
. Not a single member
of the national police or paramilitary groups has been detained.
“In Nicaragua nothing is normal. The assassinations continue, the kidnappings continue, the illegal arrests continue and the torture of political prisoners continues. This is what we call state terrorism.”
In weeks to come, let’s keep Nicaragua in the news.