Tragedy. At least three people died last night during protests against reforms to the Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security (INSS), reported various media and the National Police.
The Policía Nacional confirmed the death of one of their own, official Jilton Rafael Manzanares, 33, who was killed by a shotgun while dispersing protesters outside the Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua (UPOLI) – Polytechnic University of Nicaragua.
Another of the deceased is a young man from Tipitapa, who allegedly belonged to the Juventud Sandinista (JS). However, the circumstances of this young man’s death are still unclear.
The third victim was a UPOLI student. According to students reported to El Nuevo Diario, the young man died after an artifact exploded in his neck.
Until midnight on Thursday, the situation at the UPOLI remained tense between police forces and the students who were housed in the university with the support of people from the surrounding area.
Yesterday, dozens of Nicaraguans, university students, and pensioners, protested in marches against the recent reforms to the social security system, a new law, which increases employer and employee contributions while reducing the overall amount of pensions by five percent.
The protests took place mainly in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital city, but also in Leon, Rivas, Carazo, Masaya, Esteli, Boaco, Matagalpa, Granda and the Autonomous Region of the South Caribbean Coast (RACCS).
The first of the demonstrations began around 8:00 a.m. Thursday at the Universidad Nacional Agraria (UNA). Hundreds of university students gathered to protest against the INSS reforms and in support of young people who protested a day earlier at the Camino de Oriente shopping center and the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), where there were clashes with groups that support the reforms.
The atmosphere became tense at the UNA when two buses full of riot police arrived at 9:30 a.m., throwing tear gas bombs and rubber bullets, unleashing a violent reaction when some thirty university students were injured or poisoned.
After being repelled by the riot police, the students took refuge inside their university campus, where they remained until 4:00 p.m. An hour after the protest began in the UNA, the students of the UPOLI met in front of that study center to protest. Other young people, business owners, retirees and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods joined the demonstration.