Managua, Nicaragua, May 16, 2018 / 15:01 pm
Talks to overcome several weeks of anti-government protests and riots in Nicaragua which have been met harshly by security forces began Wednesday under the mediation of the Catholic Church.
President Daniel Ortega and his vice-president and wife, Rosario Murillo, attended the dialogue May 16 at Our Lady of Fatima national seminary in Managua. Other stakeholders present included business owners, students, and farmers.
Protests began April 18 after Ortega announced social security and pension reforms. The changes were soon abandoned in the face of widespread, vocal opposition, but protests have only intensified after more than 40 protestors were killed by security forces.
Demonstrators have called for freedom of expression, an end to violent repression, and for Ortega to step down from office.