Thousands protest against President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua's capital; Opposition groups demand resignation
Thousands of protesters assembled in Nicaragua's capital, Managua to demand President Daniel Ortega's resignation.
Managua: Thousands of demonstrators marched Sunday through Nicaragua's capital Managua to demand the resignation of President Daniel Ortega and the liberation of hundreds detained during months of deadly government repression.
Whole families — including young children and the elderly — took part in the so-called "Rescuing the Homeland" march, many sounding noisy vuvuzelas, waving Nicaraguan flags and shouting slogans as they made their way through the streets.
Months of turmoil in the Central American country has left more than 300 people dead, according to rights groups.
The march, called by opposition groups, began in the northeast of the capital, monitored by hundreds of riot police.
Some of the marchers shouted "murderers" as they passed in front of police cordons blocking streets. "We want Ortega to leave because he has done so much damage to Nicaragua," one of the demonstrators, Javier Franco, 49, told AFP. "He has to go, whether he wants to or not. We want the elections to be brought forward," said Mario Jiminez, another demonstrator.
Nicaragua's descent into chaos was triggered on 18 April when relatively small protests against now-scrapped social security reforms were met with a government crackdown, backed by armed paramilitaries.
Catholic Church-brokered peace talks broke down in June after Ortega rejected a key opposition demand to step down and bring forward presidential elections.
Nicaraguan president ready to consider changes in social security overhaul as death toll in protests rises to six
Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega said he was ready to consider changing an unpopular social security overhaul that has sparked days of deadly protests and one of the biggest crises of his leadership.
Nicaragua unrest: Four police officers, one protester killed; death toll climbs to 260 in four months of anti-govt protests
Movement leader Francisca Ramirez, said the protesters — some of whom were armed — were "attacked by agents and paramilitaries," and responded with gunfire in Nicaragua
Nicaragua unrest: Hundreds march towards Managua, protest to defy president Daniel Ortega's crackdown on dissent
Hundreds of protests have converged in the Nicaragua's capital city of Managua to defy president Daniel Ortega's crackdown on dissent