Nicaragua

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

Nicaragua’s political unrest ignited again Sunday – and a teenager was killed during an anti-government demonstration in Managua, allegedly by security forces loyal to President Daniel Ortega. A top student leader of the movement against Ortega came to Miami Monday night – to a standing ovation.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP via Miami Herald

Nicaragua’s political violence is now forcing people to flee – and many are coming to South Florida. Organizations here are helping them find ways they can stay here.

AP

Many Central America observers say this past weekend was disappointing for democracy in the region. In Nicaragua and Guatemala, critics charge the country’s presidents are behaving like the dictators of Central America’s past.

Nicaragua has kicked out a human rights team from the United Nations, just two days after it published a report detailing repression, torture and abuse of protesters by the government.

"We put forward the report not to polarize, but rather to make known what we had seen," Guillermo Fernandez Maldonado, chief of the U.N.'s human rights mission in Nicaragua, told reporters on Friday. "We did not expect the government's reaction in this sense. We only did our job."

As the months-long crackdown on opponents of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega drags on, the small independent press in the country is coming under harsh attack.

One reporter has been killed, and dozens more say they have been beaten and threatened. Many reporters have fled or quit the profession. But a determined group of journalists remains.

They include reporters like Julio César López Chavarría.

A refugee crisis is growing in Central America as tens of thousands of Nicaraguans pour into neighboring Costa Rica seeking safety from the political crisis at home.

Courtesy of Dimitri Largaespada

Some Nicaraguans in Miami who have been organizing to aid those opposing President Daniel Ortega are now focusing their efforts on the country's neighbor, Costa Rica.

Associated Press

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, whose paramilitary forces are accused by human rights groups of having killed more than 300 protesters over the past three months, told CNN en Español and the Miami Herald in an interview over the weekend that he wants to “strengthen” the country’s mediation commission by adding international organizations in an effort to end the country’s bloodshed.

Anthony Vasquez / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Nine years ago this summer, leftist Mexican politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on his country to censure another country.

That other country was Honduras. Right-wing politicians there, backed by a right-wing oligarchy and military, had just staged a coup that ousted leftist President Manuel Zelaya – who was flown into exile in his pajamas.

Nicaragua is living an Orwellian nightmare.

Over the past three months, Daniel Ortega's government of "reconciliation and national unity" has killed more than 300 people, injured thousands and abducted and disappeared hundreds more. Sandinista "death caravans" of hooded police and government paramilitaries raid towns like hordes of invading Huns, firing battlefield weapons at unarmed protesters, dragging people from their homes, torching buildings and leaving dead bodies in the street.

Nicaragua saw another weekend of deadly violence, as forces in support of President Daniel Ortega besieged student protesters in a church and attempted to assert control over several areas outside the capital.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP via Miami Herald

The past few days in Nicaragua have been some of the bloodiest since protesters began calling for the removal of President Daniel Ortega in April. International human rights groups – and Nicaraguans in South Florida – are calling on the world to do more.

Alfredo Zuniga / AP

Human rights groups say the number of anti-government protesters killed by security forces in Nicaragua has risen sharply in recent days. That's prompted a key anti-government activist – who had fled to Miami – to go back to Nicaragua.

Alfredo Zuniga / Associated Press

More than 130 people have been killed in anti-government protests raging in Nicaragua since April. Demonstrators are calling for the removal of authoritarian President Daniel Ortega – but his security forces have responded with widely condemned brutality.

Pages