Leon, Nicaragua Residents Dig Trenches for Safety

 

Citizens dug trenches on Tuesday on streets in the neighborhoods of Laborío, Zaragoza and Sutiaba, as a means of protection against the stalking of the government’s paramilitary forces.

Citizens dug ditches on Tuesday on streets in the neighborhoods of Laborío, Zaragoza and Sutiaba, as a means of protection against the stalking of the government’s paramilitary forces. Photo: Jose Luis Gonzalez /elnuevodiario.com.ni

By Jose Luis Gonzalez  (El Nuevo Diario)

HAVANA TIMES – Following the government’s decision to destroy many of the barricades in Leon, the citizens opted on Tuesday to dig trenches on the streets of the Laborio, Zaragoza and Sutiaba neighborhoods, as a means of protection against the government’s feared paramilitary squads in pickup trucks.  

Since June 22, the municipality with the backing of hooded paramilitary troops and the police has taken on the task of intimidating the population and destroying the more than 400 barricades. Dozens of injured and detained persons are registered.

Candida Rosa Martínez, a street vendor of tortillas in the Sutiaba sector, said that despite the obstacles or barricades she has to drag her cart of tortillas.

“It’s inhumane what the police are doing, they shoot bullets at all the people they see on the streets, they take down the barricades but they do not respect the citizens. This Monday I spent 45 minutes sheltered in a house for fear of being killed,” said Martinez.

For his part, Byron Fuentes, driver of a pickup truck providing service the Sutiaba Bus Terminal, said he has stopped working for 10 days, but supports the protests of the population.

Trenches as a means of protection against the so-called death trucks. Photo: Jose Luis Gonzalez / END

“The routes are obstructed, but we seek to move around even if it means driving on the wrong side of the road, but the important thing is to provide the service and respect the struggle that the population has,” said Fuentes, a member of Cotranscul transport cooperative.

Francisco Ramon Berrios, one of the many tuk-tuk taxi drivers in the city, said that the barricades have not been an obstacle to work.

“The people who are at the barricades have left free areas for the pedestrians and vehicle passing especially in the morning hours, because at night they close them again as a precaution,” said Berrios, who admitted that the business has been very good.

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