Nicaraguans in Costa Rica set out to mount anti-Ortega border protest

By Alvaro Murillo SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Several hundred Nicaraguan dissidents set off in a caravan on Sunday from Costa Rica's capital en route to the Nicaraguan border to protest against their president, Daniel Ortega, and encourage his domestic opponents. More than 300 people have been killed as the Ortega administration has responded, often brutally, to months of anti-government protests and attempted to silence his critics in the Central American nation. The caravan of buses and a handful of cars left San Jose at around 6 a.m

Reuters December 17, 2018 00:05:42 IST
Nicaraguans in Costa Rica set out to mount anti-Ortega border protest

Nicaraguans in Costa Rica set out to mount antiOrtega border protest

By Alvaro Murillo

SAN JOSE (Reuters) - Several hundred Nicaraguan dissidents set off in a caravan on Sunday from Costa Rica's capital en route to the Nicaraguan border to protest against their president, Daniel Ortega, and encourage his domestic opponents.

More than 300 people have been killed as the Ortega administration has responded, often brutally, to months of anti-government protests and attempted to silence his critics in the Central American nation.

The caravan of buses and a handful of cars left San Jose at around 6 a.m. local time (1200 GMT). The protesters aim to reach the border town of La Cruz in Guanacaste province, almost 270 kilometers (168 miles) north, by the afternoon.

"We're going to tell the people they're not alone and tell the government we're still alive and fighting to return to a different Nicaragua," said one of the protest organizers, Francisca Ramirez, a leader of Nicaraguan farm workers.

Ramirez said she fled Nicaragua in October after being threatened by pro-government forces.

The so-called "Caravan for Freedom and Justice" is due to end with a walk of some 4 kilometers from La Cruz. But it aims to stop short of the Penas Blancas border post to avoid problems. Police were waiting on the Nicaraguan side by mid-morning.

Demonstrations in Nicaragua that began in April against planned welfare cuts - later dropped by the government - quickly morphed into a broader protest against the leftist Ortega.

A former Marxist guerrilla leader and Cold War antagonist of the United States, Ortega has held power continually since 2007. Some critics now liken him to the dictator he once fought to oust. He accuses adversaries of plotting a coup to topple him.

As many as 40,000 Nicaraguans have left for neighboring Costa Rica since the protests started, according to Articulacion de Movimientos Sociales, (Articulation of Social Movements), the group organizing the protest caravan.

Monica Baltodano, head of the foundation Popol Na, one of several non-governmental organizations recently raided by the Nicaraguan government, said the protest hoped to get around 1,000 people to the border with Costa Rica.

On Saturday, Nicaraguan police beat at least seven journalists, including one of the country's best known editors, with batons as part of an escalating crackdown on independent media.

(Reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Additional reporting by Oswaldo Rivas; Editing by Dave Graham and Paul Simao)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Scotland's seafood exporters dealt new post-Brexit blow
World

Scotland's seafood exporters dealt new post-Brexit blow

By Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - The post-Brexit woes facing Scotland's fishing industry deepened on Saturday as its biggest logistics provider, DFDS Scotland, said it would halt exports to the European Union through one of its main services until at least Wednesday. Previously the company had said it would take until Monday to resume its "groupage" export service - which allows exporters to ship multiple products in a single consignment - while it tries to fix IT issues, paperwork errors and a backlog of goods. DFDS's move represents another blow for Scottish fishermen who this week warned that their businesses could become unviable after Britain shifted to a less integrated trade deal with the EU at the turn of the year

Pope Francis to have COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week
World

Pope Francis to have COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday he planned to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as early as next week and urged everyone to get a shot, to protect not only their own lives but those of others.

U.S. Senator urges mobile, social media providers to keep Capitol rioters' data as man seen seizing Speaker's lectern arrested
World

U.S. Senator urges mobile, social media providers to keep Capitol rioters' data as man seen seizing Speaker's lectern arrested

By Rich McKay (Reuters) - A man photographed carrying off the Speaker's lectern during the Capitol Hill riots was arrested late Friday, while a top Democratic lawmaker on Saturday called on mobile carriers to preserve social media content related to the riots. Dozens of people have been charged following the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday, with the FBI asking the public for help identifying participants, given the proliferation of images of the riots on the internet.