City Hall Burned in Granada, Nicaragua’s Leading Tourist City

Granada City Hall was set ablaze on Tuesday.  Photo: el19digital.com

 

The partially restored colonial city was the country’s leading urban tourist attraction.

HAVANA TIMES – Terror and violence shook the city of Granada on Tuesday, the main colonial and leading tourist city of Nicaragua, where alleged paramilitaries attacked anti-government protesters, one of whom died, and burned City Hall, reported the Red Cross and the Government, reported dpa news.

The Red Cross confirmed the death of a 14-year-old teenager who was shot in the thorax when the attackers fired on a barricade of young government opponents in the Arroyo Carita neighborhood of Granada, 45 kilometers southeast of Managua.

Hours later, unidentified persons burned a truck and the Granada City Hall in front of the central park of the town. The mayor of Granada, Julia Mena, has not been seen in the city

The residents of Arroyo Carita have been supporting the “tranques” (street barricades) of protesters against the government of Daniel Ortega at one of the entrances to the city, noted “La Prensa” newspaper.

Wilder Morales, parish priest of the Xalteva neighborhood, declared that the attack on the barricade was carried out by armed persons apparently hired by the Government.

“We sounded the bells of Cathedral and of the La Merced and Xalteva parishes because the gangs tried to loot the market. Stores are closed and there are only people in the banks, old people withdrawing their pensions,” said Morales.

The government website, “El 19 Digital,” in a four-line news story, said the City Hall was destroyed by “criminal groups paid by the right,” who also “attacked the merchants and the National Police.”

The Police did not inform on the events. They claim they do not have paramilitary or para-police forces under their command.

Granada, Nicarauga City Hall on June 5, 2018. Foto: elnuevodiario.com.ni

Built in 1524 by the Spanish conquistadors at the foot of the Mombacho volcano, Granada is one of the country’s top tourist attractions. It is located on the shores of the Lake of Nicaragua, which has an island with two volcanoes (Ometepe) and more than 400 islets.

Granada is located very close to the city of Masaya, where 10 people died and another 62 were injured over the weekend in two days of clashes between police, paramilitaries and demonstrators, according to the non-governmental Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH).

Tourism, the main source of income for Granada and a leader in the country, has plummeted since the protests against the government began in mid-April.

Media reports indicated that more civilians have joined the protests and have raised “barricades” that prevent communication by land between Managua and the main provinces located to the south and southeast: Carazo, Granada and Rivas, which communicate the country with Costa Rica and Panama.

Three university students (two women and one male) who were kidnapped on Monday night by alleged police officers reported being beaten, tortured and left naked by their captors.

One of those affected, 20, said she was forced to strip naked in front of her assailants, while a 21-year-old man said he was beaten and threatened with death. The young woman identified the aggressors as “plainclothes police or paramilitaries who carried shotguns and pistols.”

Meanwhile, in Brussels, the European Union (EU) issued a statement on Tuesday in which it described as “unacceptable” the excessive violence used by police and other uncontrolled forces in Nicaragua, and urged the Government of Daniel Ortega to “disband the violent groups.”

“The continued violence in the country and the excessive use of force by the police and uncontrolled groups are unacceptable, these attacks violate the basic rights of citizens and make the conditions for a peaceful dialogue more difficult,” said the EU.

Smoke rises over the Granada, Nicaragua City Hall. Photo: el19digital.com

“The government must impose parameters of internationally accepted behavior and practice on police forces and disband the violent groups,” added the European Union.

It also urged an “internationally supervised investigation of these acts of violence”, as agreed between the Organization of American States (OAS), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) and the Government of Daniel Ortega in recent days.

“All the recommendations of the IACHR should be put into practice and the relevant bodies of the UN must receive access to the country” (thus far denied), the statement underscored.

The crisis in Nicaragua began with a peaceful student demonstration in rejection of a Social Security reform that affected thousands of workers and retirees, but it escalated quickly due to the violent attacks of the riot police and shock forces against unarmed civilians.

Human rights groups document that over a hundred persons have died thus far and over a thousand injured, many seriously.

4 thoughts on “City Hall Burned in Granada, Nicaragua’s Leading Tourist City

  • So we’re supposed to believe that pro-government paramilitaries burned City Hall? I doubt it. They also aren’t the ones maintaining the roadblocks. I further wonder whether semi-organized gangs of pro-government thugs operating outside the command of the police ought to be called paramilitaries, at least as long as the semi-organized gangs of violent protesters aren’t credited with equivalent paramilitary status.

    I don’t like these pro-government thugs either, but I also don’t like biased reporting. Come on, City Hall was torched by the protesters, who have a bit of paramilitary about them too.

    Reply
    • You and your danielista bullshit are finally exiting this country, and this “violent protester” rhetoric doesn’t hold much weight in comparison to the 127 people the police and their thugs have killed.

      Reply
  • Little Danny Ortega could have chosen to be a great man. Instead, he chose to be yet another power hungry, thieving little prick. First Somoza, then Ortega. The Nicaraguan people deserve better than this.

    Reply
  • You can speak on something you do not know. Small groups paid by the gob. Are the ones doing all this attrocities. Should go to the country to see it with your own eyes. The people of Nicaragua is trying to defend themselves. They are tired of unjustice from a long time ago.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *