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Nicaragua Ortega agrees to talk about deadly protests



MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said Saturday his government is ready to hold talks on social security reforms that have led to protests and clashes over four days. Monitors say at least 25 people have died. A journalist reporting the riots was also killed.

In a nationwide televised speech, his first public It has been occurring since the demonstrations on Wednesday, Ortega said he was open to negotiations so that "there is no more terror for Nicaraguan families." But he said the dialogue would only be with business leaders and not with other parts of society. He also seemed to be trying to justify what the government and allied groups persistently answered. They accused protesters, most of them university students, of being manipulated by unspecified "minority" political interests and infiltration of gangsters. [19659010] "What happens in our country has no name, the children do not even know the party that manipulates them … gang members are implicated in the protests of the children and criminalize the protests, which is why they are endangered", said Ortega.

These remarks seemed to ignite the flames when, soon after, thousands of people in seven cities, including the capital Managua, poured into the streets after Friday's tensions had calmed down.

"We are on the streets asking Ortega and his wife to go in. This has already gone beyond the social security problem, here are the dead, the wounded, and he does not even apologize for his killings or the brutal repression of him People, "said Mauri Hernandez, one of thousands of demonstrators in a central rotunda.

Vice-President, first wife and government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo said Friday that nine people were killed in the clashes, despite Cenidh's at least 25 deaths nationwide on Saturday.

Minutes later, journalist Angel Gaona appeared on the news program Meridiano was killed as he masked riots in the southeastern city of Bluefields. The AP saw a video of his live broadcast on Facebook over the phone; a shot is heard and the phone crashes.

Another Bluefield reporter, Ileana Lacayo, said he died on the way to the hospital.

A prominent chamber of commerce made a statement that scheduled talks with Ortega over an end to the repression release of detained demonstrators and respect for freedom of expression, as the authorities kept away a private news channel reporting on the protests.

"We can not enter into a dialogue if these minimal conditions are not met," it said.

At the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua, one of the strongest bastions of protesters, there were further clashes.

"We are stuck, they will not exploit us, we will do everything we can until the government understands that it will not go on doing what it wants," said Lombardo Ruiz Picado, a student protests leader, to the Associated Press from school.

In the morning In Esteli, a city north of Managua, demonstrations were conducted to assist the police in repelling demonstrators.

State media showed images of armed soldiers patrolling the city center, saying they would protect strategic concerns after fires in several public buildings

The Roman Catholic Episcopal Conference in Nicaragua condemned repression against demonstrators and called on the government to: to listen to them and to drop the social security reforms.

"A one-sided decision always brings with it social instability." Correcting decisions is a sign of humanity, listening is the way of reason, seeking peace at all costs is wisdom, "the conference said in a statement.

The reforms enacted by decree increase income and payroll taxes and make changes to pensions to support Nicaragua's problematic social security system.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.


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