Nicaraguan anti-riot police dispersed a political demonstration in Managua on Saturday, September 29, reportedly using rubber bullets and stun grenades. The confrontation between opposition protesters and security forces took place in Managua's El Riguero neighborhood. This was the first gathering since the President Daniel Ortega declared opposition protests illegal on Friday, September 28, allowing the police to directly intervene to break up peaceful protests and arrest participants. The government also announced on Wednesday, September 26, that it would arrest and deport any foreigners participating in political rallies. Continued demonstrations and clashes with security forces or pro-government militias are possible in the coming weeks.
Nicaragua is experiencing widespread political unrest as months-long protests have called for President Daniel Ortega to step down. The movement began on April 18 and has led to frequent protests, deadly clashes, looting, and other violence. Human rights groups claim that between 322 and 512 people have been killed due to unrest since mid-April and more than 4500 others have been injured. Activists accuse the government and pro-government militias of committing serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, using weapons of war against protesters, kidnappings, arbitrary detentions, torture, excessive use of force, raiding homes without a warrant, and attacking the press.
Individuals 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 nationals to postpone nonessential travel to the country until further notice.
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