Editorial Comment: The following report from Tortilla con Sal describes the violent actions that have taken place in Estelí . While today there is calm, citizens remain vigillant.
The opposition’s offensive plan turned on provoking violence and deaths in Managua but also, for the powerful symbolism involved, in Monimbó, León and Estelí which were centers of insurrection against the Somoza dictatorship.
Among the 11 people killed in the demonstrations until Saturday are 2 police, 1 Sandinista journalist, at least 2 Sandinista activists and the others were innocent bystanders or protestors, by Monday 9-12 additional deaths were being reported but it’s not clear how many were Sandinistas, how many were bystanders and how many were protestors nor is it clear who was responsible because the opposition shock groups were using improvised mortars, firearms and knives.
In Estelí hundreds of people attacked both the museum/library park and central park where the Alcaldía, the FSLN offices and the big Recreativo complex are located. The Recreativo serves as a storage area for food for social programs and as a concert space for cultural activities.
16 people among the Alcaldía personnel were wounded and 18 police officers.
Nationally a total of 121 police officers were wounded and 2 killed which gives a good idea of the level of violence they faced.
In Estelí two students among the protestors were killed, but no one knows by whom despite inflammatory accusations by the opposition against the police.
The fighting involved around 600 people on the night of Friday April 20th in very confused circumstances between the museum/library park and the central park. Around 300 opposition militants traveled from Leon and Managua to foment the protests and ensure they turned violent.
They fired over 1000 improvised mortar rounds and dozens of molotov cocktails just at the municpal office alone which the fire service were able to extinguish before fire took hold.
Subsequently the opposition militants organized systematic destruction of Sandinista monuments. In response the local Sandinista movement refrained from defending those monuments so as to avoid further conflict and to create conditions for dialogue although in Esteli Sandinista supporters easily outnumber political opposition supporters. Opposition extremists are making death threats to leading public Sandinista figures here in the city.
This was a well prepared extremely violent opposition offensive that has nothing to do with social security reform and deliberately misled young people and students as a cover to be able to provoke very aggressive violence so as to destabilize Nicaragua in an attempt to grab power they have no chance of winning via elections.
(April 18, 2018 – NGO funded by the United States pay US $ 3150
to MRS leader for “field work student logistics”)