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Another gov’t protest turns violent in Nicaragua

October 3, 2008

Another attempt at civil protest ended in violence yesterday afternoon when a group of pro-government thugs clashed with a group of student protesters who were demonstrating outside Multinoticias Channel 4 TV, the official government station in Managua.

Reporters from Multinoticias responded aggressively to the students in the streets, who held signs denouncing the “dictatorship” of President Daniel Ortega. The reporters blamed the students for inciting violence.

A group of Ortega supporters, allegedly members of the local Council of Citizen Power (CPC), or neighborhood Sandinista organizations, was then called in to “rescue” Multinoticias by forcibly removing the students from the neighborhood. The pro-Ortega thugs shoved and hit the students, who tried to resist non-violently by sitting on the ground and chanting “We don´t want violence.”

Reporters from Multinoticias accused the group of protesters of being right-wing “pretty boys” who are “financed by the United States” and “puppets of the empire” – echoing Ortega´s mantra about the opposition. The students, however, evoked a revolutionary spirit by chanting old Sandinista slogans and insisting that were struggling against the Ortega dictatorship.

Yesterday was the second such bout of street violence in the past two weeks between Ortega supporters and anti-government protesters. The Orteguistas have warned they are not willing to “give an inch” to protesters because the Sandinistas “control the streets.”

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