by Rocio Lopez, for the CPRSJ
We, members of the internationalist anticapitalist Left, stand in solidarity with the Nicaraguan people during this time of repression following their uprising against austerity and injustice.
More than 300 people have been killed since a protest movement began in April 2018. Snipers have attacked student protesters occupying universities—and killed 15 people attending a march led by mothers mourning children killed by the state; members of a family were burned alive when they refused to let snipers use their home to shoot protesters. Doctors at public hospitals who have treated wounded protesters have also been fired, while families have been forced to sign away their right to file complaints against police to get their loved ones’ bodies back. The human rights violations in this period of brutality have been well-documented by local and international groups.
Former leftist president of Uruguay, José Mujica, has also noted that Ortega is responsible for this violence, while Ortega’s own brother, the former head of the Nicaraguan military, has called for him to disband the paramilitary forces attacking protesters and to take responsibility for the state-sponsored killings.
It is worth noting that Ortega came back to power in 2006 on an anti-woman platform in alliance with conservatives in the Catholic church to maintain a complete ban on abortion. Nicaragua is one of the few places in the world where abortion is still banned in cases of danger to the mother’s life. In 2016 Ortega’s government closed down special police stations run by women that handled cases of violence against women. Zoilamerica Ortega Murillo, Ortega’s stepdaughter, who now lives in Costa Rica for her safety, has long accused Ortega of molesting her when she was a child and so it is of little surprise that Ortega would allow impunity for violence against women.
We stand with the great many famous Sandinista revolutionaries who have stood up against Ortega’s opportunistic regime and with the 70 percent of Nicaraguans who want him to resign. They continue Nicaragua’s great tradition of mass struggle against dictatorship.
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