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Cleanup Operation in Masaya: 3 Dead As Government Forces Take Control of the City

The Government of Nicaragua on Tuesday took control of the city of Masaya after an operation of more than 7 hours, carried out on the indigenous community of Monimbó, and leaving 3 dead.

“Masaya fell, everything is silent, the kids had to leave the trenches and flee, their weapons were too heavy,” a member of the April 19 Masaya Movement told Acan-Efe.

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The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) confirmed the death of at least 3 people during the attack: a policeman, a 15-year-old, and a woman who was on the sidewalk of her house.

The ANPDH believes that the number of victims could be greater, but it is still not possible to enter the city because it remains surrounded by the “combined forces” of the Government.

On maximum alert. Residents of Masaya and the Monimbó neighborhood reported early on Tuesday that paramilitaries, armed and wearing blue shirts, were carrying out the so-called cleanup operation, which kept people on high alert.

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Mobilizing in pickup trucks, heavily armed and hooded, the paramilitaries entered Masaya at dawn and some inhabitants managed to record the moment, expressing great concern.

The OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, on Tuesday, endorsed the request of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which called for preventing repression in Masaya.

“We adhere to and support the request of the IACHR,” Almagro wrote in his official Twitter account.

Earlier, the IACHR urged “to avoid the repressive offensive in Masaya, we remind the State of Nicaragua that there is already a framework to stop the violence and open channels of dialogue that avoid more loss of life.”

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United States Ambassador in Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu, retweeted a message from Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for the US Department of State, asking the Government of Nicaragua today to stop the violence.

Unofficially, it is speculated that there were more than a thousand men heavily armed with machine guns who entered shooting at Masaya, a city with 100,000 people, located 30 kilometers south of Managua.

The riot police and paramilitaries entered on board 37 vans and surrounded Masaya, closing the access to the city, according to images uploaded by residents on social networks.

“They are strafing the houses in an irresponsible manner, the message is that those who poker their heads will be killed, it is a state of terror, what worries me the most are children, pregnant women and the elderly,” said the secretary of the Nicaraguan Association of Human Rights (ANPDH), Álvaro Leiva.

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