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The Crisis In Nicaragua Is Getting Worse As The Death Toll Rises To 280, Including Children

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At least 10 people are dead–among them two children — and 20 were injured on Sunday by police and paramilitaries that targeted the Nicaraguan city of Masaya. Police and authorities used lethal force against civilian protesters over the weekend says the United Nation’s human rights office as it called for an end to violence. Civil unrest in Nicaragua has only worsened in the two months since protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega began.

The U.S. State Department and the United Nations have condemned the continued violence that began in April.

This past weekend there was attacks against more than 200 Nicaraguan university students. The students had sought refuge in a church after police forced them out of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, which had been occupied during two months of protests against the government of President Ortega.

Rupert Colville, the United Nations human rights office spokesman, said the turmoil in the streets must end. “The violence is all more horrific as armed elements loyal to the government are operating with the active or tacit support of the police and other state authorities.” he told the LA Times.

Police have launched raids to clear protesters in the city of Masaya, the battleground of the uprising in Nicaragua.

According to Al Jezeera, government forces began advancing on Masaya’s Monimbo neighborhood and had largely regained control of it for the first time since massive protests began. The Monimbo neighborhood holds special significance in the Nicaraguan consciousness because it was the place of the Sandinista Revolution in the 1970s. That revolution was led by President Ortega and has now become the epicenter of anti-government sentiment again.

Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo, who is Ortega’s wife, said Monday it was necessary to clear out Monimbo and Masaya. The U.S. warned Ortega against pursuing the assault on Masaya as it called for a halt to the deadly crackdown on anti-government protests.

The violence in Nicaragua has gotten global attention with many asking for peace in the streets.

The United Nations Secretary-General called on the Nicaraguan government to stop the violence against demonstrators. Around 280 people have died during the unrest in Nicaragua. Protesters and international organizations are calling for a national “political dialogue” to end the deadly crisis.

“The Nicaraguan government must stop the massacre of students and civil society,” tweeted Carlos Trujillo, the U.S. representative at the Organization of American States. “Those who are responsible for crimes against humanity will be held accountable.”

President Ortega’s government has dismissed opponents as delinquents.

People have taken to the streets demanding President Daniel Ortega step down, in the bloodiest protests in Nicaragua since the country’s civil war ended in 1990. The unrest began, when Ortega proposed reducing pension benefits to ease budgetary pressures. Though the plan was later dropped, it started large protests and calls for Ortega to step down over his government crack down on demonstrators.

Read: Priests In The Nicaraguan Catholic Church Are Supporting Anti-Ortega Demonstrators Calling For His Removal

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This Miami Artist Is Using His Skills For Both Muralism And Art Education In Latin America

Things That Matter

This Miami Artist Is Using His Skills For Both Muralism And Art Education In Latin America

marlonpruz / Instagram

Fine artist, animator and fashion designer Marlon Preuss, a.k.a. Marlon Pruz, is leaving his mark (or brushstroke) on his hometown of Miami and abroad in Latin America. The 24-year-old artist has learned how to fuse his multiple art styles and interests into life-sized artwork for music studios, clubs and schools. He is also taking his murals to schools and impoverished neighborhoods in Latin America to inspire art education.

Meet muralist Marlon Preuss.

He is a muralist whose art has crossed borders throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

“Every stage of my life has played a puzzle piece to form who I am as an artist. Every part of my life is an influence,” Preuss said.

Raised in Miami by an Argentine mother and a Spanish father, Preuss says he finds his inspiration from skateboarding to neo-classical art lending to his unique style.

After graduating from high school, Preuss lived in New York for three years while studying art at the School of Visual Arts.

He returned to South Florida after requesting a medical leave from school in order to undergo surgery. Throughout his surgery, Preuss says he continued to work in art, making connections that eventually landed him in front of some of the biggest names in entertainment and hospitality in the city.

The first stroke of luck for the young artist came when the Basement nightclub inside the the Miami Beach Edition Hotel asked him to paint a mural from wall-to-wall.

As soon as you walk into the nightclub, you see his glow-in-the-dark paintings of scenes and local animals from the state’s Everglades National Park.

“It was a big learning process It was trial and error of what not to do and what to do,” Preuss says. “It gave me a good intro to that whole world of full-time art.”

The murals throughout the nightclub took four weeks to complete, with Preuss learning how to negotiate, invoice and talk about prices.

“I started putting my work and energy of artist for hire, and it created opportunities for me,” Preuss recalls.

Before long, he was painting a mural for Magnus Talent Agency, co-founded by Marc Anthony.

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The man. New deal alert

A post shared by ɱąཞƖơŋ🌋 ℘ཞɛųʂʂ (@marlonpruz) on

And the mural blended the talent agency along with some of Miami’s entertainment history.

Since much of the talent consists of music artists and baseball players, Preuss wanted to merge the two together. Out came the inspo for a large mural of Celia Cruz with a baseball bat.

“I turned the studio into Sistine Chapel,” Preuss says. He added that it was an “explosion of detail.”

His art can caught the attention of businesses in Latin America wanting a piece of his colorful murals.

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Some last close ups of my new piece “Favela Christ” 2018. Mixed media. 4ft x 4ft I’ve always been fascinated with favelas and the unregulated ingenuity and creativity that goes in to the creation and maintenance of these societies. Almost everything in these vast and unique towns is make shift and constructed by the people who reside in them. This inspired me to make a piece depicting the favelas in which every building was painted with a different material. I placed the famous Christ the Redeemer landmark in the middle, because these diverse, colorful, seemingly impossible Favelas get swept under the rug when it comes to government funding and public attention. Check my last post to see the entire time lapse process. #favela #brazil #christ #mixedmedia #artistsoninstagram #art #gallery #timelapse #illustration #contemporaryart #surrealism #popsurrealism #hifructosemag #juxtapozmagazine #painting #paintingoftheday #rio #christtheredeemer #jesus #fineart #originalart #artfido #artshow #modernart #mixedmediaart #artcollector #artreception #artfair #beautiful #artlovers

A post shared by ɱąཞƖơŋ🌋 ℘ཞɛųʂʂ (@marlonpruz) on

Preuss is getting ready to go to Brazil to lend his talents to a hotel looking for murals capturing the vibrance of the favelas. As Preuss mentions in his Instagram caption, he has long been inspired by the favelas and the people who live in them. The creativity and ingenuity of the people is something he admires.

Preuss already has experience bringing the joy of art to impoverished communities in Latin America.

He has traveled through Latin America. Recently, he traveled with his mother, a yoga instructor, back to Argentina. While there, he volunteered his time to paint murals with children at schools.

One of his goals is to continue pursuing his art and using the profits for global art education.

“I want to be able to make money to go to these places to make art with the locals,” Preuss says. “I want to have the world be my child.”

READ: This Art Project Is Traveling To Every U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing And Documenting The Experience Of Daily Commuters

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