Between July 10 and 25, the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) recorded 97 deaths nationwide and on Thursday said that 448 people died in the citizen protests that began on April 18, due to the repression and the confrontations that this unleashed.
The new count is an increase of nearly 100 over the previously released toll.
The victims comprised 383 civilians, 40 members of pro-government paramilitary groups, 24 police officers and one soldier, said Alvaro Leiva at a press conference.
Leiva added that the last 15 days “were particularly bloody.” The 97 deaths in the last two weeks represent 21.6% of the cases recorded in 98 days of protests; that is, on average six deaths per day.
We are intensely concerned about the deep crisis of human rights violations, by a government that does not demonstrate the political will to improve the human rights of Nicaraguans,” said Leiva.
The report details that 356 people were killed by gunshots; 20 from stab wounds; two from hand grenades; two from homemade weapons and 68 that are under investigation.
Leiva said Thursday that 399 of the dead have been identified, more than 2,800 people have been injured, 72 of them incurable.
Paramilitary groups have also abducted 718 people, 595 of whom remain missing, according to Leiva, who accuses paramilitary groups of intimidating the population out of “party and ideological fanaticism.”
President Daniel Ortega denies any responsibility for the killings and accuses his opponents, who are demanding his resignation, being coup plotters. Ortega, though he says he has the utmost respect for bishops of the Catholic Church, he accuses them of siding with the coup plotters.
Managua’s archbishop, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, told AFP that the Church “is not an enemy” of Ortega’s government, and urged the administration to “listen” to the people. He said that, while conditions were not right now to resume dialogue, “without talks there could be more deaths.”
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