On Sunday, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega cancelled plans to change the countries social security system after five days of protests and civil unrest. The protests began last Wednesday as college students picketed against the proposed social security overhaul. Ortega on Sunday acknowledged the deadly protests and called for the civil unrest to end as looting and riots began to target businesses.
Twenty-six people are confirmed dead and more than 120 people have been injured due to the civil unrest and protests.
— #SOSNicaragua (@fromvictonn) April 20, 2018
The video above shows the peaceful protests turning violent quickly as police force civilians out of the area. Protestors are angry with the government’s decision to change the structure of Nicaragua’s social security system, which includes an increase in taxes and a decrease in benefits.
Angel Gahona, a journalist who was reporting live via Facebook on protests in the southern city of Bluefields was killed by gunshot.
— #SOSNICARAGUA (@_pizzacloud) April 22, 2018
Dozens of shops in Managua, the capitol of Nicaragua, were looted due to protests and civilian push back caused by the government’s social security reform.
“We are in the streets asking for Ortega and his wife to go. This has already gone beyond the social security issue. Here there have been dead, wounded, and he does not even apologize for his killings or the savage repression against the people,” Mauri Hernandez, one of thousands of demonstrators at a central rotunda told NBC News.
Young people have been at the forefront of the protests taking to the streets and utilizing social media with the hashtag #PrayForNicaragua and #SOSNicaragua.
— Thelma Maria Belli (@WhatiCanChange) April 20, 2018
The rallies, led by students, workers and business leaders, have targeted Ortega who has held a tight grip on power since winning the presidency in 2007 with only 38 percent of the vote. Various demonstrations began peacefully, with protesters waving signs and chanting, “Viva Nicaragua libre!” (“Long live a free Nicaragua!”). Government officials clashed with protesters using tear gas and rubber bullets.
There has been support across the globe for the people of Nicaragua from Los Angeles…
— Monica Vigil (@monica_a_vigil) April 23, 2018
— KP (@Sceneopticum) April 22, 2018
— DMT (@torra01) April 22, 2018
The United States pulled some employees and their families from the embassy in Nicaragua. On Monday, The State Department raised the threat level for Nicaragua following the deadly protests, and is urging Americans to reconsider traveling to the country. “Violent crime, such as sexual assault and armed robbery, is common,” the department said in a statement. “Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited outside of major urban areas.”
This is a developing story follow mitú.