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    Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks to supporters during May Day celebrations in Managua, Nicaragua April 30,2018 | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 April 2018

During a speech by the president today in Managua during a pre-May Day celebration, Ortega said that he and the people have chosen peace and security. 

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said today he guarantees that "violence won't embed itself in the country." During a speech by the president in Managua Monday, during a pre-May Day celebration, Ortega said the people have chosen peace and security referring to the recent protests that turned violent in which at least 11 people were killed and many more injured.

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"These are situations that are being investigated in order to find the guilty. …so they understand once and for all that all of Nicaragua has chosen the path of peace and security," said the head of state.

Ortega reminded the crowd that the nation had come back to peace from its civil war during the 1980s that left over 50,000 dead.

"Unfortunately the same people who incited the previous war are inciting violence now. On top of that, there are once again the victims of violence and death. … This has left a deep wound in the heart of the country. … The country hurts," said the president. He added that dialogue is the main objective of the government now.

On Sunday, the national assembly announced the formation of the Truth, Justice, and Peace Commission - to include religious leaders, academics, lawyers, students and social movement leaders - that will have three months to investigate and analyze the spate of violence that broke out across the country on April 19 and lasted over a week. Protesters were supposedly demonstrating against the government’s change to the social security and state health care system.

On April 16 the government announced it would implement a 0.75 percent increase in monthly contributions by workers to the state social security system, and a 3.5 percent increase in employer's contributions by January 2019.

The resolution also called for shifting five percent of pension contributions to financing state medical services, a measure many feared would reduce their future pensions. The president repealed the resolution last week in the face of the violent and destructive demonstrations.

In addition to the truth commission, Nicaragua's Public Prosecutor's Office has already launched an investigation into the protests and deaths. "We will start a formal and responsible investigation into the loss of life of students and national police," Prosecutor Ines Miranda said last Friday.

Massive marches have taken over much of Managua since Saturday demanding a return to peace.


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