Clashes continue in northern Nicaragua, at least 10 injured

Clashes continue in northern Nicaragua, at least 10 injured 

Students participate in a protest against the Government of President Daniel Ortega outside Universidad Centroamericana in Managua, Nicaragua, 14 May 2018. EPA-EFE/BIENVENIDO VELASCO BLANCO

Managua, May 15 (efe-epa).- A new confrontation between security forces from the National Police and anti-government protesters left more than 10 people injured in northern Nicaragua on Tuesday, causing local priests to step in as mediators, local sources reported.

The clash occurred on Tuesday in Matagalpa, a city of about 150,000 inhabitants located some 130 km north of Managua, when police tried to dismantle roadblocks which were set up by protesters to restore the free movement of people and vehicles, according to priests in the city.

According to videos published by local media and social media users as well as complaints from local residents, riot police fired gunshots and tear gas, while protesters, who were on the streets demanding justice and an end to repression, responded with stones, sticks and crude homemade mortars.

The incident left at least 10 civilians injured. They were treated at the San Pedro Apostol Cathedral in Matagalpa, Oscar Escoto, of the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe church, told Efe.

Escoto said that the wounded were taken to the Cathedral and then transferred to a clinic.

During these clashes, priests Oscar Escoto, Cesar Corrales, Denis Martinez and Sadiel Eugarrio mediated and called for an end to the violence.

A national dialogue is scheduled to begin on Wednesday with the mediation of the country’s bishops, who have acknowledged that this process will begin in “sub-optimal” circumstances as violence against demonstrators continues in the streets.