Opposition groups plan to march in Managua on Saturday, August 11, at 14:00 (local time). Participants will gather at the Jean Paul Genie roundabout on the Carretera a Masaya (Paseo de la Unión Europea) in southern Managua and march north up the highway to the Metropolitan Cathedral near Plaza el Sol and the National University of Engineering (UNI). The demonstration is a call for the release of political prisoners; more than 130 opposition leaders have been arrested and charged with terrorism since protests began in April this year.
Additional marches are scheduled for Sunday, August 12, and Wednesday, August 15. All three events are being organized by the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy and the Coalition for the Articulation of Social Movements. The August 15 march coincides with the trial of Medardo Mairena, an opposition leader who was arrested in July.
The current unrest, which began with small student protests in Managua, rapidly expanded. Regular protest have repeatedly led to deadly clashes, looting, and other violence. Human rights groups estimate that 317 people have been killed in relation to the protests since April, with thousands more wounded. Around 23,000 people have fled the country. Activists accuse 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 citizens to postpone non-essential travel to the country until further notice.
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