Protests Continue in Nicaragua Despite Police Repression

Police were deployed all around Managua’s urban center and in other points around the country to prevent flash protests. Nicaraguans went out on the streets anyway.

After the prostests held at the Metrocentro mall on the previous weekends, starting early Saturday the Police stationed agents inside the shopping areas and parking lot to “keep watch” from the inside. Photo: Carlos Herrera / Confidencial

The march planned for Saturday, April 6, was rescheduled for reasons of security

By Keyling T. Romero (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Despite the police deployment that began in the early hours of Saturday, April 6, and still continues, groups of the self-organized opposition went out for brief moments to demonstrate at “blind points”, in order not to be arrested.

This took place after the Blue and White Unity movement (UNAB) cancelled the march it had convoked, for fear of attacks on the citizens, as happened the previous weekend when an armed man infiltrated a protest and began shooting.

The flash protests were realized by small groups, who displayed Nicaraguan flags, yelled slogans sent up balloons and some tossed blue and white confetti in the streets. “Did you notice? We’re driving them crazy. The National Unity has acted with responsibility for people’s lives. Civil disobedience is also a way of mocking power,” Violeta Granera, a member of the movement, posted on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, the Ortega Police invaded the shopping malls, sites of protests over the past few weeks. They also patrolled the principal avenues of the capital in pick-up trucks, motorcycles, and minibuses; the riot squads were deployed in the sector around the Masaya highway where the canceled march had been scheduled and where in the last year the principal marches against the regime of Daniel Ortega have been held. Other cities also reported a large police presence.

In the face of this police siege, the American Chamber of Commerce of Nicaragua issued a communique denouncing the “disproportionate deployment of police forces,” with which the regime is attempting to instill terror so that the citizens don’t demonstrate, even though it’s a right established in the Nicaraguan Constitution.

The police siege also violates two of the few accords obtained between the regime and the Civic Alliance, agreements that were approved during the past negotiating sessions. In these, the regime committed itself to the restitution of basic freedoms and the liberation of the political prisoners. However, Ortega isn’t showing any will to fulfill any of the agreements, since the political prisoners who have been released from jail, under house arrest, still have active cases pending against them in the courts.

Since October of last year, Daniel Ortega’s regime has prohibited all demonstrations in public spaces, imposing a rule that protesters must request a permit from the National Police. However, up until now no request for a peaceful march has been approved – rather they’ve tried to criminalize the people who have called for demonstrations.

According to the Blue and White National Unity movement, the march that was to be held this Saturday was rescheduled for next week, but the exact day it will be held isn’t known, nor the security measures to be taken to safeguard the physical integrity of the demonstrators.