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The U.S. government on Friday ordered non-emergency government personnel to leave Nicaragua and advised travelers to reconsider going to the country. A State Department travel advisory that was updated Friday said U.S. government personnel in the country must stay in their homes and “avoid unnecessary travel between sundown and sunrise.”
Nicaragua has been rocked by protests and a violent crackdown by authorities since April, when demonstrations began demanding President Daniel Ortega’s exit from office. Ortega’s government has likened such demands to an attempted coup. A report last month from a team of independent investigators said at least 212 people have been killed in clashes.
The article goes on to state the following:
Talks aimed at resolving the crisis have repeatedly broken down.
The U.S. State Department says heavily armed, government-controlled paramilitary forces operate in areas of the country including in its capital, Managua. “These groups are attacking blockades, kidnapping and detaining individuals, taking over privately owned land, and committing other crimes,” says the travel advisory.
“Rallies and demonstrations are widespread and occur daily with little notice,” it says. “Government-controlled forces have attacked peaceful demonstrators leading to significant numbers of deaths and injuries. Looting, vandalism, and acts of arson often occur during unrest, including in tourist areas. Government authorities detain protesters, and some people have disappeared. Human rights groups have documented credible claims of torture of detainees.”
Last month, the U.S. State Department acknowledged that a U.S. citizen, Sixto Henry Vera had been killed in Nicaragua amid the violent clashes. Vera was found beside two burned out vehicles with a bullet wound to his head.
On Thursday, the Trump administration slapped sanctions on three Nicaraguan officials, accusing them of human rights abuses and corruption.
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