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  • Nicaraguans have been demonstrating since Ortega announced changes to the nation’s welfare system.

    Nicaraguans have been demonstrating since Ortega announced changes to the nation’s welfare system. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 13 May 2018

“We reject manipulated information that makes it seem that we are repressing” the protesters.

The Nicaraguan military has promised to not restrict the anti-government protesters, according to Agence France-Presse.

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“We don’t have a reason to repress” the protesters, Colonel Manuel Guevara, a military spokesman, told the news agency. “We think dialogue is the solution.”

Guevara added: “We reject manipulated information that makes it seem that we are repressing” the protesters. Nicaraguans have been demonstrating since Ortega announced changes to the nation’s welfare system. Thousands took to the streets to demand the resignation of the president.

On Friday, UN human rights spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, said the organization received information that at least 47 people – mostly students, along with two police officers and a journalist – had been killed in the anti-government demonstrations which began in late April.

President Daniel Ortega has pledged to allow an inquiry into the deaths of the protesters.

"We agree to work on each of the points raised (by the bishops), taking into account that all of them reflect their goodwill as mediators and witnesses," Ortega said in a letter to the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua.

The clergymen requested an end to the suppression of the demonstrators as well as the permission for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the deaths. The church had been pushing for the talks in light of the reported protests deaths.

"We are all ready to attend your call for dialogue at the earliest possible date, for the peace of all Nicaraguans," the letter said. Ortega added that he agreed with the bishops on "the necessity of ceasing the violence, intimidation and aggression against citizens."

Ortega has ruled Nicaragua for the past 11 years as well as from 1979-1990.


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