Pension cuts reversed in Nicaragua after 27 die in protest violence

Days of protests in Nicaragua have left at least 27 people dead, according to a human rights organisation. The proposed pension cuts which caused the violence have now been reversed.

Riot police and troops were deployed against protesters, and subsequently accused of using excessive force. Protests spread from Managua, the capital, to cities across the Central American country of 6.1 million.

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The Nicaraguan Centre for Human Rights said 27 people had been killed, although the official figure remained lower.

A journalist was among those killed. A bullet hit Ángel Gahona while he was filming a Facebook Live broadcast on damage at a bank in the town of Bluefields on the Caribbean coast.

Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega, approved changes to welfare plans and social security on April 18 that provoked the demonstrations. The measures, which increased workers’ contributions but lowered pension payments, would have come into effect on July 1.

The proposed cuts were reversed yesterday. But rallies and demonstrations are still ongoing, and expected to continue.

The U.S state department on April 23 ordered relatives of U.S. Embassy staff to leave Nicaragua.

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