The April 19 University Movement accepted the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua’s invitation for a national peace dialogue with the government.

Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega waves to supporters after voting in the municipal elections at a polling station in Managua, Nicaragua Nov. 5, 2017. | Photo: Reuters

Students from the April 19 University Movement, which remains entrenched in the Technical University of Nicaragua (Upoli), accepted the invitation of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua (CEN) to take part in a national peace dialogue organized by the government to “avoid more blood spilling,” but also demanded minimum guarantees.

“As young people promoting peace and respect to democracy while avoiding more blood spilling, we accept the invitation extended by the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua to take part in the dialogue table to pay respect to all students and our political constitution,” said the movement’s spokeswoman, Valeska Valle.

But in order to take part in the dialogue, the movement is demanding security for all students, citizens, and a stop to the political prosecution of all protesters. They also declared they will remain entrenched in the university until their demands are met and “the rule of law is reestablished.”

Reading a communique from the Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes announced that the Church will be the guarantor of dialogue “with a sincere spirit of creating a sense of nation” in a press conference.

After backtracking the resolution on social security that sparked the protests, President Daniel Ortega invited the Catholic Church to participate in the dialogue as a guarantor of peace, while reiterating his call for a broad dialogue on the reforms of social security laws, tax reforms, among other issues.

Late Friday, Vice-President Rosario Murillo announced the government will reinstall tables for dialogue with business sectors and social organizations to ensure the sustainability of Nicaragua’s Social Security Institute (INNS) and attributed the violence to people “who celebrate the rupture of peace.”

The government approved on April 16 the reform of the INSS after several negotiation talks during 2017, with the objective of distributing responsibilities between companies and workers, and thus avoiding the privatization of the service.

Article originally appeared on Today Nicaragua and is republished here with permission.


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