Brutal Paramilitary Attack against Students in Nicaragua

The bullet ridden Divina Misericordia Church where the students, journalists and priests had been under siege for 12 hours.  Photo: laprensa.com.ni

 

HAVANA TIMES – Two students dead and another 16 wounded resulted from a government ordered paramilitary attack on Managua’s UNAN university and a nearby Catholic Church where many took refuge, reported dpa news on Saturday.

Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes offered a press conference at the Metropolitan Cathedral Saturday after the release of more than a hundred university students who had been under siege for 12 hours by armed civilian groups escorted by the Police in the “Divina Misericordia” church building in the southeast of Managua.

Brenes said that 14 young people were injured by bullet wounds on Friday night, when the paramilitary groups attacked the headquarters of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN), where some 150 students remained since early May, protesting against the government of Daniel Ortega. .

After the violent eviction, the university students took refuge in the nearby “Divina Misericordia” church and continued to be attacked with weapons of war by the paramilitaries. Two young people lost their lives and two more were wounded in the Church building, he said.

The Police had blocked off the surrounding streets so that Ortega’s paramilitary troops could carry out their siege on the students.

In the group of almost 200 people, there were also priests and journalists whose liberation was finally managed from negotiations by Cardinal Brenes, Bishop Silvio Baez and the apostolic nuncio in Managua, the Polish Waldemar Sommertag.

Brenes said that the rest of the young people are physically OK, although he noted that some have had nervous breakdowns, and that human rights organizations will offer them protection and shelter, given that it is feared that they could be arrested or killed if they return home.

Very emotional scenes were recorded when the students were taken on buses from the parish church where they were under siege to the metropolitan cathedral, where family and friends were waiting.

In a brive press conference from the Managua Cathedral, the students also drew attention to four of the comrades who were kidnapped by the paramilitary forces today and there whereabouts remains unknown.

The moment on Saturday when the students were evacuated from the Church where they had been under siege. Photo: 100% Noticias

Meanwhile, a member of the Rural Movement opposed to the Government reported that police and paramilitary troops forcibly dissolved several roadblocks located in the towns of Santo Tomas and San Pedro de Lovago, in the central province of Chontales, operations that left “several dead and injured”.

“They ambushed us on the road from five vehicles, they opened fire cowardly, without mercy and we had to retreat,” the informant told channel 15 TV. He added that a large number of protesters sought refuge in the surrounding mountains.

The crisis in Nicaragua began with a protest by university students on April 18, and worsened after the violent action of the police, shock and paramilitary forces that until today has left more than 350 dead according to independent human rights organizations.

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