Pro-government demonstrations are ongoing in Managua as of the afternoon (local time) of Saturday, September 8, following a 24-hour nationwide strike launched by opposition supporters on Friday, September 7. Pro-government demonstrators have reportedly planned to gather at the Centroamérica, Hugo Chávez, Jean Paul Genie, and Rubén Darío roundabouts.
Related demonstrations and opposition counterprotests are possible in Managua and other Nicaraguan cities in the coming hours and days. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near all demonstration sites. Clashes between pro-government and anti-government demonstrators, as well as between anti-government demonstrators and pro-government paramilitary groups or security forces, cannot be ruled out.
The current period of unrest began with small student protests in Managua in mid-April and rapidly expanded. Regular protests have since led to deadly clashes, looting, and other violence. Human rights groups estimate that over 300 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.
Individuals in Nicaragua, particularly in Managua, 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 nonessential travel to the country until further notice.
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