Nicaraguan protests

Oscar Navarrete / AP

Human rights groups say Nicaragua’s authoritarian government has been uncompromisingly brutal toward protesters. But the regime made a more lenient gesture on Monday – if only to help improve its dismal international image.

Raquel Idiáquez was cooking dinner with her uncle when she noticed something was wrong. He'd been visiting her in Seattle from Managua, Nicaragua, and that evening of April 15, 2018, he kept leaving the kitchen to take an urgent call.

"I saw him getting a little nervous and going to his phone more frequently than usual," says Idiáquez, 28. "Then he just came to me. He was like, 'I gotta leave tomorrow.' "

A leading Nicaraguan journalist has left the country following a police raid on his newsroom last month.

Carlos Fernando Chamorro, editor of the online publication Confidencial, announced on Sunday that he has gone into exile in Costa Rica, citing suppression of independent press under Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

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.