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Nicaraguan Protesters Accuse Government of Breaching Truce

(AFP) – Nicaraguans were back on the streets in their thousands on Sunday to protest what they called a government breach of a two-day truce agreed during Church-mediated peace talks.

University students claim police attacked them during a demonstration outside the Managua campus on Saturday night in which four students were shot and injured.

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Police said in a statement they had complied with the truce, agreed during Catholic Church-mediated talks between the government of President Daniel Ortega and opposition groups demanding his ouster.

The aim of the truce was to create a calmer climate and allow an investigation into the deaths of dozens of people in a month of anti-government protests.

Protesters in Managua and other cities demonstrated against the police action, which was strongly condemned by the university’s rector, Telemaco Talavera.

In Managua, protesters carried Nicaraguan flags, banged pots and blew whistles to call on Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, to resign.

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On Monday a delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights charged that the material it obtained during its recent fieldwork in Nicaragua shows evidence of “grave violations of human rights” and 76 deaths during the past month of protests.

In a preliminary report of its findings, the IACHR said that since April 18, it had documented at least 76 people killed, and 868 injured, after protests broke out over discontent with a new law that raised worker and employer social security contributions while cutting benefits.

Fears have been raised that legitimate concerns are being manipulated by US-backed groups seeking regime change in Nicaragua.

On Monday, in the third day of dialogue talks, the sides only succeeded in approving the adoption of the recommendations of the IACHR. Then, the government proposed to recognize the right of citizens to free mobility, asking to eliminate traffic jams on the roads; but there was no consensus.

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