Violence in Nicaragua
(Statement by Press Secretary Norio Maruyama)
- Japan observes closely with concern the situation in Nicaragua, where clashes that followed public protests have resulted in the loss of the lives of many citizens. Japan expresses its condolences to the bereaved families and its heartfelt sympathies to those who have been injured.
- Japan strongly hopes that the Government of Nicaragua, and the business sector, students and civil society will strive to overcome their differences in opinion through dialogue and consultations observing principles of democracy, and come to an agreement for the resolution of the relevant issues.
- Japan has consistently supported the democracy and development of Nicaragua, and will continue to work to support for their further progress.
(1) On April 18, the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS) announced plans to reform the social security law (presidential decree). Business associations and pensioners opposed the plan, arguing that the necessary constitutional procedures had not been completed. Protests, primarily by university students, occurred throughout Nicaragua, centered on Managua City. The intervention of security forces and other matters caused the violence to spread, resulting in the loss of many lives and many injured.
(2) On April 22, the social security reform decree was cancelled and the situation temporarily subsided. However, between the evening of May 10 and the early hours of May 11, university students that had barricaded the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua were attacked by a group believed to be on the side of the government, resulting in three deaths and many injured. On May 12, protestors clashed with police in Masaya City, resulting in one death. According to non-governmental organizations and others, the total number of deaths is estimated to be between 26 and 60.