Nicaragua accused of using gangs to suppress dissent from those negatively effected by the government

Amnesty International has accused the Nicaraguan government of colluding with paramilitary groups to suppress weeks of student-led demonstrations against President Daniel Ortega.

It said the groups used semi-automatic weapons and co-ordinated their attacks with the security forces.

Around 80 people have died so far in the protests.

They began in April, triggered by welfare reforms but turned into a rejection of the Ortega government.

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The Amnesty International (AI) report said the armed groups were often made up of pro-government students and motorcyclists, sometimes identifiable by clothing linking them to the authorities.

"These groups appear to be acting with the acquiescence of the state, as is demonstrated firstly by the fact that most of the attacks were committed by private individuals in the presence of or in co-ordination with the security forces," the report said.

"Secondly, by the fact that the police did not pursue the perpetrators after the crimes were committed, but rather allowed them to flee the scene and disperse."
Nicaragua appears to have adopted the tactic from that of the Iranian mullahs who used the Baiji to attack demonstrators against the tyrants who rule Iran.  Ortega has been a sweetheart of the left in the US, but they have been rather silent about his current attempts to suppress dissent.


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