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Nicaragua

Yearbook 2018

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.

2018 Nicaragua

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.

According to 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 protested.

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.

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