Popular unrest amid a government crackdown continues to affect various Nicaraguan towns and cities. Three days of demonstrations are set to take place from Thursday, July 12, through Saturday, July 14.
On Thursday, a march will be held in the capital Managua, where demonstrators will leave from the Rotonda Cristo Rey (roundabout; a.k.a. Rotonda Santo Domingo) at 10:00 (local time) and march to the Rotonda Jean Paul Genie, passing through the Autolote El Chele intersection and the Alexis Argüello monument. A national general strike is set to take place on Friday; disruptive protests and roadblocks, store closures, and a lack of public transportation is likely across the country. On Saturday, a “caravana” - a protest march involving vehicles - is expected to travel to various areas of the capital.
The current unrest, which began with small student protests in Managua in mid-April before rapidly expanding, has been ongoing now for nearly three months. Regular protests have repeatedly led to deadly clashes, looting, and other violence throughout the country. Despite government efforts, roadblocks erected by protesters in cities and on highways across the country have hindered road travel and goods deliveries. Early store closures have become common amid the violence and shortages, with the streets of Managua reportedly emptying around 18:00 due to fears of violence carried out by pro-government armed groups (grupos de choque).
More than 300 people have reportedly been killed in the ongoing unrest. According to human rights group ANPDH (Asociación Nicaragüense Pro Derechos Humanos), at least 156 others have been reported missing (many likely being unlawfully detained by police) and more than 1500 others have been injured. According to ANPDH figures from late June, fatalities have been registered in the capital Managua (145), Masaya (35), León (20), Chinandega (8), Carazo (5), Rivas (1), Caribe Norte (20), Caribe Sur (1), Boaco (4), Jinotega (8), Río San Juan (3), Estelí (13), Granada (2), Madriz (2), Matagalpa (15), and Chontales (3). Activists have accused the government and pro-government militias of committing serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, using weapons of war against protesters, arbitrary detentions, torture, excessive use of force, raiding homes without a warrant, and attacking the press.
The World Medical Association (WMA) has also warned that the country’s health system has collapsed amid the crisis, with hospitals reportedly turning away injured protesters and doctors pressured by the government to refuse care. The ongoing violence has also prevented health workers from carrying out mosquito eradication efforts, increasing the risk of large-scale outbreaks of diseases such as dengue fever and malaria.
Individuals in Nicaragua are advised to closely monitor the situation, strictly avoid all protests due to the risk of violence and arrest, and adhere to any advice issued by their home governments. Some countries, including the US, the UK, and France, continue to advise their nationals to postpone nonessential travel to the country until further notice.
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