What’s happening in Nicaragua? Message from Sheffield-Esteli Society

Message from Sheffield-Esteli Society

How things have changed.
There have been rumblings about Ortega-Murillo for years, opposition in the countryside to the canal, and in mid April,  dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of a forest fire in a nature reserve. An April 16th announcement of pension cuts and social security payment rises was  followed by peaceful demonstrations by retired people, who were beaten up by the police. This brought students out to support them and the police and paramilitaries to suppress them in turn. April 19th saw the first 5 deaths and the beginnings of university occupations.
Above will give you an idea of what is happening. The numbers yesterday were 285 dead. 1,500 injured. 156 disappeared. 72 detained (currently). 201 liberated. 
Basically, civil society is fed up with the corruption of the OM government, students, farmers, indigenous and most businesses. They have lost their fear. 
The bishops have been mediating in meetings with all sides but basically Ortega-Murillo won’t go or agree to early elections next March. Public hospitals have been instructed not to treat protesters.
Estelí is  patrolled by masked armed men with battlefield weapons (the army is staying in the barracks supposedly but many sharpshooters about and most victims have head or chest wounds) so not many people dare do anything. The first student  victims there were probably killed from the town hall. We can’t send money directly for medical supplies etc as the banks are now checking everything for the first time and we can’t endanger our contacts.
There is a huge amount of mobile footage of the police and paramilitaries at work, as well as the people’s barricades.

Attached are two events being organized by Sheffield Esteli Society in the next few weeks .Please pass this information on to friends if you are not able to come yourself

  •  The first will be a Ceilidh with the Welldressed  Band, an annual event which is good fun and raises money for the projects we support  .This is on Sunday 1st July at the Broomhall Centre , Broomspring Lane Children of all ages are welcome ( and free ) and there is a Real Ale Bar, Raffle  and bring food to share and lots of dancing with a great caller . We will also have a young Nicaraguan woman there whose project we have supported in Esteli ,  who is visiting us for the week .  The tickets are £8 on the door, £7 in advance and £6 for students and concessions . See poster  Ceilidh poster 01 july 2018 Sheffield-Esteli Society
  • The second event is a public  meeting being held at the Quaker Meeting house on Tuesday 10th July , with two young women activists who are talking about the tragic and disturbing situation in Nicaragua that has been going on since April , when the Government bought in changes in Social Security and pensions . This has led to a student and women led protests which has led to brutality by the Ortega Government . The country is at a virtual standstill .  The two women activists  are on a European speaking tour and we are pleased to welcome them to Sheffield after public meetings in Brighton , London , Edinburgh and Newcastle .

see flyer here:  SHEFFIELD ESTELI SOCIETY PUBLIC meeting 10 July 2018


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