Ongoing protests demanding the resignation of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega have resulted in the deaths of at least 100 protesters.
Wednesday, a march was led by the mothers of those who have been killed protesting the government. In response, gunmen opened fire into the crowd and killed at least 15 people.
According to the Nicaraguan Association for the Protection of Human Rights (ANPDH), at least one 15-year-old child was among the dead.
A 48-year-old United States citizen was shot and killed in the capital city of Managua by a pro-government mob, but the police have blamed anti-government protesters for the killing.
Ortega, the country’s current president, is a former Sandinista rebel who first took power from 1979 to 1990 before returning to rule 11 years ago.
He has extensive control over the country’s Congress, the courts, the electoral board, and the military, preventing Nicaraguans from effecting real change through the electoral process.
“There’s definitely a lot of chaos, a lot of confusion. But it’s very clear to most Nicaraguans that this chaos has been generated by the government. We have seen people getting murdered, even, like you said, after a very peaceful march that hundreds of thousands of people went to and which I took part in. We saw pregnant women. We saw children. We saw pets. We saw older people walking there. And to end that march and get attacked, we know that there is something absolutely wrong with this.” — Xiomara Diaz, a Nicaraguan citizen in an interview with NPR