Granada, Nicaragua: One dead, 20 injured in police-protester standoff
A teenager was killed and 20 people injured by bullet wounds Tuesday in a conflict between protesters and riot police in Granada, Nicaragua, a popular tourist destination.
The victim has been identified as José Maltez, who died from a bullet wound, the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh) told AFP.
Wilmer Pérez, the parish priest of the Xalteva de Granada Church, told 100% noticias that the young man fell during a faceoff between protesters and pro-government groups that were trying to remove a barricade in the city, 45 km south of the capital.
“The situation is very tense in the area surrounding La Merced parish. People say there are armed people there. Some say that [the attackers] are Sandinista Youth along with the police,” the priest said.
Pérez added that in the early hours of the morning, “firearms and bombs going off” could be heard, but “the people who are at the barricades can defend themselves only with stones.”
Residents allege that they set up the barricades to defend themselves from attacks of groups aligned with the government that attack the city at night, loot businesses and burn buildings.
Nicaraguan media organization La Prensa reported Tuesday that “paramilitaries who, together with National Police officers, attacked residents” also set fire to the Municipality of Granada.
Ever since Nicaragua’s protests began on April 18, tourists have virtually disappeared form the streets of Granada, one of the country’s leading attractions.
The Cenidh has registered 110 deaths. The most violent interaction of the ongoing conflict took place last week in Masay, where 10 people died, including a police officer and a 15-year-old.
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