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Nicaragua buries victims of latest violence

Nicaragua buries victims of latest violence

The current wave of protests is the largest in 11 years of the presidency of Daniel Ortega.

More than 110 people have been killed in the country since mid-April amid clashes between forces loyal to President Daniel Ortega and opposition groups demanding his removal.

Reuters said the Deputy Director of the National police of Nicaragua, Francisco Diaz, reports UNN.

Mother's Day protests in Nicaragua turned deadly on Wednesday as government forces opened fire on protesters, killing over a dozen people and injuring many more.

Gunmen firing into crowds sent thousands of demonstrators running for cover at the marches, which were led by mothers of victims who died in recent protests. The incident killed 15 people, 218 people were injured. The escalation of violence has engulfed the country's capital Managua and other cities on April 18.

The protests were initially triggered by now-aborted reforms to the near-bankrupt social security system.

A group of 21 former Latin American leaders urged the Organization of American States and the Lima Group of Latin American states to take "urgent measures" in the face of "serious attacks" against democracy and human rights in Nicaragua.

Ortega has been president since 2007.

In a sign Ortega was responding to worldwide pressure, the government and the Organization of American states issued a statement saying the head of the electoral commission, Roberto Rivas, had resigned.

The US State Department issued a statement condemning the "government's violent response to peaceful Mother's Day marches in Managua and other cities yesterday, including assaults on mothers mourning their children killed since protests began April 18".

Rights group Amnesty International, which had a delegation accompanying the march, said it "witnessed the chaos caused by the detonation of firearms", and accused police and pro-government groups, known as "Sandinista mobs", of carrying out attacks.

"It appears that Ortega is prepared to stay in power no matter the cost, no matter the number of people who have to die", said political analyst Oscar Rene Vargas.

"From my point of view, and it is something largely shared in the private sector, we must find an orderly way out of this, in a constitutional way, which implies reforms including a (presidential) election moved forward" from 2021, he said in an interview with newspaper La Prensa.

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