The deaths occurred in renewed violence in the country’s northwest, where security forces loyal to President Daniel Ortega fought with anti-government activists in a bid to quash the popular uprising against the embattled leader. More than 220 people have been killed in the ongoing unrest since mid-April. Earlier, around 20 truckloads of riot police and paramilitaries moved into the indigenous Sutiaba area of Leon to clear roads blocked by barricades
. “They attacked to remove the barricades that the protesters had built, there is still a police presence in Sutiaba, the population is very fearful, in their homes. There are policemen with weapons,” Roman Catholic priest Victor Morales said. “There is a lot of tension and we have confirmed we have at least three dead.” The victims were identified as 21-year-old Dany Lopez, Junior Nunez, 22, and 24-year-old Alex Vazquez, who were shot dead when government forces entered Sutiaba, Morales said.
The priest said Nunez and Vazquez had fled a barricade and “had taken refuge in a house” when police entered and shot them. “We have until now 22 injured and 14 detained, including journalists from the opposition radio Dario, and a 12-year-old boy who was taken out of his home,” opposition spokesman Bryon Estrada said.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urged the government to take measures to prevent the bloodshed. “The violence and repression seen in Nicaragua since demonstrations began in April are products of the systematic erosion of human rights over the years, and highlight the overall fragility of institutions and the rule of law,” Zeid said. “I call on the government to cease State violence and to dismantle the pro-government armed elements that have been increasingly responsible for repression and attacks.”