Nicaragua – Protests Over Social Security Changes Leave Many Dead

nicaragua-protest-2018
Police officers enter a supermarket after lootings during protests against the government's reforms in the Institute of Social Security (INSS) in Managua on April 22, 2018. - Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega agreed Sunday to scrap a highly-controversial reform of the country's pension law that sparked four days of violence, leaving many people dead. (Photo credit:OCON/AFP/Getty Images)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. April 23, 2018: Nicaragua’s president on Sunday withdrew changes to the social security system that triggered deadly protests and looting.

President Daniel Ortega said in a message to the nation that the social security board of directors had cancelled the changes implemented on 16 April.

The violent demonstrations were triggered from the new social security measures, which advanced by the Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security (INSS), establish an increase in contribution and a deduction of five percent from pensions.

The changes touched off protests across the nation that escalated into clashes with police as well as looting. The demonstrations appeared to expand to include broader anti-government grievances.

Human rights groups said at least 26 people were killed in several days of clashes. Dozens of shops in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua were looted during unrest that extended into Sunday.

OAS

The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) condemned the violence, saying in a statement: “We urge an immediate end to the violence that has caused these deaths, as well as a significant number of injuries.

“Violent confrontation has never been a political solution, and we urge the opening of spaces for participation that rebuild coexistence between the sides. We know that the Nicaraguan people do not want more violence and confrontation, and that their history entails the deepest desire to choose the path of dialogue and understanding.”