Nicaragua. Nicaragua was shaken by political violence for
most of the year, and both the legal security and the
transparency of public bodies in the country were questioned
by both the opposition and international observers.
What began with demonstrations against a pension reform
in April developed into a massive dissatisfaction against
the government at all, and the FSLN (Sandinist Front for
National Liberation Front) worst crisis since it took power
in 2007. Up to the end of September had over 500 people
killed in violent clashes with police. When the riots first
broke out in April, Police Chief Aminta Granera resigned and
was later replaced by hard-fought General and President
Daniel Ortega's son-in-law Francisco Díaz.
Countryaah.com, President Ortega defended the police's actions by
pointing out that the protesters were guilty of vandalism
and terrorism and even hinted that the Islamic State (IS)
was behind the unrest. He also expelled a UN delegation
tasked with overseeing civil and human rights in the
country. In mid-July, the FSLN-dominated Congress passed a
law that opened to convict terrorism protesters. Both the US
and the US cooperative organization OAS and the EU
The opposition demanded a dialogue with the government on
condition that police violence first ceased, which President
Ortega said no. He announced that a dialogue with the
protesters would be established through the mediation of the
Catholic Church, but at the same time accused the church of
disloyalty to the government.
In addition, in November, a local organization reported
that 420 cases of various types of attacks against freedom
of the press were registered in the country. In four cases
out of ten members of the FSLN government party were behind
the attacks, and 19% were responsible for the police. At the
same time, the escape from the violent Nicaragua increased.
More than 20,000 Nicaraguan people sought asylum in
neighboring Costa Rica. In the wake of the political crisis,
economic problems also followed. The credit rating agency
Standard & Poor's downgraded Nicaragua and predicted
stagnant growth for the economy in 2018.