A sniper with a Dragunov sniper rifle, in a range of eight hundred meters away, can point directly at a person leading a march. From atop a building, from a privileged position, without someone interrupting throwing stones or mortars at him, the armed man simply pulls the trigger and kills easily.

That is the explanation by the former major of the Nicaragua Army, Roberto Samcam, after analyzing the latest report of the Asociación Nicaragüense Pro Derechos Humanos (ANPDH) – Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights – published on July 3, that 198 people have died from a single shot since the protests began on April 19.

In the same list, which records data between April 19 and July 2, it is noted that 127 people died of accurate shots to the head, neck and chest. “There is a decision to kill, to murder. There are weapons with the capacity to carry out the political will to assassinate. There are people ready to do it,” Samcam said.

There are more figures to support this pattern, since at least 253 deaths were the result of firearms, which is equivalent to 81.88% of the 309 total deaths that occurred up to last Tuesday. In addition to that 51% of the shots went to the upper body.

Samcam explained that the trajectory shows that the bullets come from shooters ready and in favorable positions. “The trajectory is descending, and this means that they are in an elevated position, at a distance long enough, so that nobody realizes that they are aiming or firing,” he added.

70 people have died from direct shots to the head. LAPRENSA/J.Flores

“The objective of these impacts is to terrorize. When you go in a march or you are in a tranque (barricade) and you see that someone falls next to you and you do not know where the bullets come from, it causes panic, it causes terror. A single sniper can put an end to a march of 100,000 people, because people simply say: ‘the next one to follow, is me’,” explained Samcam.

Roberto Samcam. LA PRENSA

Samcam added that the Dragunov is a medium-range rifle, of approximately 800 meters, from which the target can be perfectly identified. For the former soldier, in the repression, they can be using AK47’s with telescopic sights with an effective range of between two hundred and four hundred meters.

Another of the weapons that Ortega’s armed forces suspected of using are the Catatumbo rifles, the Venezuelan version of the Russian Dragunov, manufactured by the CAVIM company of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, which has even produced 50-caliber rifles for use by snipers. These rifles have an effective range of five thousand meters (three miles) and these cartridge shells have been found in Masaya and Granada.

“If the use of this type of weapon is verified, it would be a total barbarity,” said Samcam.

50 caliber shells have been found in Masaya y Granada. LAPRENSA/O.Navarrete

Among other weapons that have been used in this repression are the AK47, AR15, M16, 12 caliber and M40 shotguns and M40. Also FAL rifles FAL and M1 carbines.

“Most of this armament was in warehouses since the end of the war of the 1980s, evidently in charge of those who constitutionally had a monopoly on arms,” said Samcam.

Source (in Spanish): La Prensa

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