At least 10 businesses, located in central streets of the city of Masaya, remain closed, the owners having taken the decision not to reopen due to the insecurity that the city is living, the constant arrests and the patrol of armed civilians throughout the day.

Ciudad de Las Flores street in Masaya

Among the closed retailers are pharmacies, pizzerias, food shops, bars and paint stores, most of these looted in previous months by hooded criminals, who destroyed the infrastructure and took away all merchandise.

Don Augusto Amador, who has had a small restaurant for 5 years, expressed his fear of returning to work again, due to the danger he and his workers can face due to the constant illegal detentions.

“Opening again I think it would be a failure or expose our lives to danger, with much effort we had our eatery and overnight we lost everything, the armed civilians think they own the streets, because they are everywhere, that is not a good image to attract foreign clients or visitors,” said Augusto Amador.

Paola Herrera, owner of a pizzeria, said “we are not in a good time to attract investment, visitors from other countries are not going to feel comfortable to see that there are hooded people in each corner with weapons, we still have not opted to open, our economy fell to 80%, today we only have losses and many debts. ”

Most of the owners consulted said that one of the options would be to emigrate to another country to establish their businesses and look for new opportunities to invest or sell the establishments to recover part of the money lost in the three months of crisis that the country has experienced.

“One of the ideas is to go to set up in Panama or Costa Rica, because we no longer see the opportunity to continue investing and do it at this time would be taking a big risk, because we could lose everything again. Masaya is living a time of high unemployment, before all this we had a good percentage of customers, today we have nothing,” said Winston Rafael Ulloa, owner of a bar.

The small businessmen ask for the disarming of the armed civilians and stop sowing fear in the population, so that the trust, the tranquility and the economy in the town of Masaya can be overcome.

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