In Nicaragua, rival marches claim one victim

November 20, 2009

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – A day of protest that began peacefully late Saturday morning fell into violence in the afternoon, with clashes between pro- and anti-government marchers, as well as violence against passersby, that ended in the death of 42-year-old Rafael Anibal Ruiz and caused at least a dozen other injuries.

Ruiz was traveling in a truck from Managua toward the north-central coffee region of Jinotega, when protesters attacked him with rocks, the National Police said in a statement issued late afternoon Sunday. The police did not say whether Ruiz was participating in one of the rival protests or just passing through, but several news reports out of Managua said he was a follower of President Daniel Ortega. Ruiz died after being taken to Matagalpa Regional Hospital.

Apart from highway rock fights, a band of Sandinistas heading to the government´s counter march Saturday afternoon attacked the headquarters of the opposition Liberal Constitutional Party (PLC) with mortars, breaking windows and causing damage to the building. Another group of Sandinistas fired mortars at the Channel 2 television station, while others attacked a caravan of Liberals returning home from their march.

The violence occurred despite the governing party´s efforts to hold a demonstration its followers billed as “happiness and celebr ation.” By the time President Ortega took the stage in downtown Managua at 5 p.m. – with religious music playing and a giant sign advertising his government as Christian – more than 100,000 state employees and government supporters were in the street, many drinking beers despite a liquor ban that was supposed to be in force for the day.

Yet despite using the government´s resources to mobilize its people and obliging state workers to attend, the Sandinistas weren´t able to draw a much larger crowd than the diverse opposition.

Chanting “democracy yes, dictato rship no,” a floodtide of civil society and opposition political parties marched on the streets of Managua Saturday morning to show their repudiation of the government of President Daniel Ortega.

Alex Leff contributed to this report.

See the Nov. 27 print or digital edition of The Nica Times, a Nicaragua-based publication of The Tico Times, for more on this story.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Mexico opens border to women and children from migrant caravan
Honduras
1073 views
Honduras
1073 views

Mexico opens border to women and children from migrant caravan

AFP - October 20, 2018

Mexican authorities on Saturday allowed dozens of women and children from the Honduran migrant caravan to pass into its territory,…

Venezuela accuses Costa Rica of ‘subordination’ to U.S.
Costa Rica
1823 views
Costa Rica
1823 views

Venezuela accuses Costa Rica of ‘subordination’ to U.S.

AFP - October 20, 2018

Venezuela criticized Costa Rica this week for expressing support for several countries that have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC)…

Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in Osa
Changemakers
2142 views
Changemakers
2142 views

Lifeguards call for help in Costa Rica: support their work in Osa

Perry Gladstone - October 20, 2018

Over the last four years, the Lifeguards of Costa Ballena have performed 240 in-water rescues, administered first aid 100 times…