Opposition “March of the Flowers” Set for June 30th in Managua

A demonstrator. Photo: Bienvenido Velasco, EFE /Confidencial


By Maynor Salazar (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – The “March of the flowers”, in memory of the children and teenagers killed during the protests against the Ortega government, is now set for Saturday June 30th. The protest in Managua begins at the Alexis Arguello monument at 10:00 a.m. and will proceed to the Jean Paul Genie roundabout.

The march was reprogrammed after having been first planned for June 23rd, later suspended for security reasons. 

Leaders of the eastern neighborhoods of Managua, students of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) and peasants who maintain roadblocks in the center and north of the country, assured that they will resume the mobilizations that have diminished because of the terror imposed by the Government. They asserted that many of the barricades demolished by the police and paramilitary forces will be newly erected in the coming days.

On Thursday, a pride march of the LGTBIQ community took place in the capital, to which several participants joined the demand for justice and democracy.

The last mass mobilization in the capital was on Nicaraguan Mother’s Day, May 30, when hundreds of thousands took to the streets to express their solidarity with the mothers of those killed by the government repression. However, at the end, the police and paramilitaries brutally attacked the march, killing nearly twenty participants.

“Ortega will be remembered as Nicaragua’s worst president and we will keep going even though we have mourned our dead. That is why we are asking the international organizations and the National Dialogue to help disarm the paramilitaries and that the police, which shoot bullets at the population, cease their repression. We ask that there be a transitional government because Daniel’s regime has been unable to govern the people,” demanded rural leader Francisca Ramirez.

Citizens united in the Articulation of Social Movements and Civil Society demanded that the National Police and the Nicaraguan Army disarm and dismantle the death squads putting an end to the violence that these groups have exercised in the last two months in the country and have left more than 200 people killed.

“We are asking the police to stop supporting the paramilitaries, because they have us in a state of curfew. Starting at six o’clock in the afternoon in different parts of Nicaragua, citizens must take shelter because there is no longer peace. We have evidence that the police support these armed groups; and we are also demanding that Ortega leave power,” said one of those present.

Paramilitaries against an unarmed population

The leadership of the eastern neighborhoods of the capital, denounced the loss of lives and the terror they are living by the repression of the paramilitary squadrons, which arrive armed with AK rifles, AR-15, Dragunov and machine guns. They also demanded the cessation of violence and that the armed groups leave the streets and roundabouts.

“We had the barricades, but nobody was ever armed, we did it for our self-defense. Now the paramilitaries control those places and they have guns, they shoot no matter if there are children in the area. Please gentlemen, policemen, do not hide in a uniform that no one trusts,” said a resident of the eastern neighborhoods.

He assured that they are organizing to raise the barricades again, however, he stressed that they should plan well for the right moment, because the population does not have weapons and the paramilitaries are still in the streets.

A student leader lamented the violence and disrespect for the university autonomy that the Government has made in these two months of protests. “We went from a peaceful state to a violent state and this is the president’s fault because he intimidates and murders the population with the aim of restricting the right to demonstrate,” he said.

The university student expressed that there is a great contradiction in those Sandinista leaders who fought against the Somoza dictatorship, and who now, have transformed this government into something similar.

“This is a paramilitary killer state; here we have suffered repression. We defend ourselves with stones, because we are not prepared for these armed attacks. We will continue to defend our right to civic protest that we all have and to build a new State,” he said.