Nicaragua – Church mediates Nicaraguan talks; bishop urges Ortega to change tactics
A Nicaraguan bishop urged the country’s embattled president to “reconsider” his repression tactics as the country convulses with protests against corruption and authoritarian rule and the Catholic Church tries to play the role of mediator.
“I ask you, Mr President, that you rethink with your Cabinet the path you have taken. It has started – I say this with pain – a non-armed revolution,” Bishop Juan Mata Guevara of Esteli told Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on 16th May in the opening session of a national dialogue organised by the nation’s bishops.
“If you want to dismantle the revolution, it is not a matter of pressure, of rubber bullets or lead bullets,” he added.
Nicaraguans have taken to the streets for weeks, first, to protest a reform to the country’s social security system, but also what they consider mismanagement and corruption by the president and his family and a heavy-handed crackdown on students and the media.
At least 49 people have died amid the unrest, according to Reuters, and protesters allege excesses have been committed by paramilitaries known as the Sandinista Youth. Bishop Mata told Ortega – who fought in the Sandinista struggle three decades – to return police to their barracks.
Picture: A demonstrator holds a crucifix during a protest against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, on 15th May. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters).