A heavy security presence in Managua prevented the National Blue and White Unity (UNAB) opposition coalition from holding a demonstration on Wednesday, April 17, to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of protests against President Daniel Ortega's administration. Hundreds of riot police officers prevented small groups of demonstrators from merging at the Centroamérica roundabout. According to activists, at least 25 people were detained by the police for violating the current ban on protests.
Further demonstrations are possible in the near term as UNAB leaders have vowed to continue anti-government protests. Heightened security measures and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected around all protest sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Nicaragua has experienced periods of unrest since April 18, 2018, amid calls for President Ortega to step down. The movement has led to frequent protests, deadly clashes, and other violence. 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 monitor developments to the situation, avoid any public gatherings due to the risk of violence and arrest, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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