Update from US State Department: ‘
#Nicaragua Travel Advisory Update: On April 23, 2018, the U.S. government ordered the departure of U.S. government family members and authorized the departure of U.S. government personnel. Reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to crime and civil unrest.’
Protests erupted in Nicaragua last week in response to changes to the social security systems. At least 26 people have been killed in the protests and many more injured. Protests occurred across the nation, with students and pensioners joining in, and shops have been looted.
It is unclear when the security situation will be resolved. See below for travel advisories.
Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse protesters. There have been reports of live ammunition being used as well.
A journalist was shot and killed during a live broadcast – ‘Ángel Gahona was reporting on damage at a bank in the Caribbean coast town of Bluefields when a bullet hit him during his Facebook Live newscast.‘
A journalist was shot dead, seemingly by a sniper, in Nicaragua Saturday while live-streaming the latest wave of demonstrations against the government’s planned pension and social security reforms. #AngelGahonahttps://t.co/6d2HkAiDX2
— dwnews (@dwnews) April 22, 2018
News reports say a journalist killed in Nicaragua while covering protests. CPJ investigating. https://t.co/V0IoarPDy3
— CPJ (@pressfreedom) April 22, 2018
President Daniel Ortega has since cancelled the changes, which would have seen an increase in pension contribution payments for workers and employers and a 5% reduction in benefit payments.
Nicaragua revokes pension law that sparked violent protests:
— dwnews (@dwnews) April 23, 2018
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 23, 2018
The US State Department is accusing Nicaragua’s government of overreacting to protests during days of unrest in which human rights groups say more than two dozen people have died. https://t.co/i6H1QsIoax pic.twitter.com/t0nWjX7wfp
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) April 22, 2018
— New York Post (@nypost) April 22, 2018
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) April 22, 2018
— ABC News (@ABC) April 21, 2018
From the US Embassy in Nicaragua –
Violent crime, such as sexual assault and armed robbery, is common. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited outside of major urban areas. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from using public buses and mototaxis and from entering the Oriental Market in Managua and gentlemen’s clubs throughout the country due to crime. U.S. government personnel require special authorization to travel to the Northern and Southern Caribbean Coast Autonomous Regions due to crime and transportation safety concerns.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Nicaragua:
- Avoid demonstrations.
- Shelter in place if your surrounding area is affected by demonstrations or move to a safer location if your current location is unsafe.
- If you feel unsafe in Nicaragua, consider arrangements to depart the country.
- Use caution when walking or driving at night.
- Keep a low profile.
- Do not display signs of wealth such as expensive watches or jewelry.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Nicaragua.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Please click here to read more, including contact information.
From the Foreign and Commonwealth Office –
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Nicaragua.
There has been ongoing street violence in many areas in Nicaragua. This has involved the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, resulting in serious injuries and deaths. These incidents are unpredictable and can happen at any time. Major routes to the international airport have become impassable at times due to disorder. This could happen again at any time. There are reports of escalating violence in numerous locations around the country. Exercise extreme caution when planning travel and avoid affected areas entirely.
There is no British Embassy in Nicaragua. If you need emergency consular assistance, you should contact the British Embassy, Costa Rica, tel +506 2258 2025.
Please click here to read the rest of the travel advisory.
From the Canadian Government’s Travel Advice website –
Protests have been occurring throughout the country, particularly in Managua, Masaya, Leon and Esteli since April 18, 2018. They have led to violent clashes and caused casualties. Demonstrations are scheduled to occur in many cities until April 23, but may last longer. Protest locations and schedules may change without notice.
- Restrict your movements if protests are taking place in the area where you are located
- Avoid central Managua (near metrocentro mall) and other areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are occurring (e.g. near universities)
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
from Country Advice and Advisories updated in the last 24 hours, which can be found at: http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/nicaragua
# Nicaragua The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to Nicaragua due to the deteriorating security situation https://t.co/aTXkRaNe2s pic.twitter.com/rPahuLyj6N
— FCO travel advice (@FCOtravel) April 22, 2018
#Nicaragua Travel Advisory Update – Level 3: Reconsider travel. Political rallies & demonstrations are occurring daily, with little notice.Some protests result in injuries & deaths.The US Embassy in Managua is limited in the assistance they can provide. https://t.co/8H4cnvqHPr pic.twitter.com/0MbG2IogUP
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) April 22, 2018
#Nicaragua Ongoing street violence in many areas in Nicaragua involving tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition. Serious injuries and ten reported deaths. Exercise extreme caution when planning travel and avoid affected areas entirely. https://t.co/I7RYv3gnxc pic.twitter.com/fnPGSEvpOA
— FCO travel advice (@FCOtravel) April 21, 2018
Sources + Headlines
- BBC News: Nicaragua reporter killed during Facebook Live amid unrest
- NPR: Dozens Of Protesters Killed In Nicaragua Following Pension Changes
- Reuters: Death toll rises in fifth day of Nicaragua protests against government
- ReliefWeb: Nicaragua: State must stop repressing demonstrators after 10 are killed
- Sky News: Nicaragua journalist killed on Facebook Live while covering protests
- New York Times: With Death in Streets, Nicaragua Cancels Social Security Revamp
- Voice of America: Nicaraguan President Cancels Pension Plan Changes to End Deadly Protests
- The Detroit News: Businesses looted after Nicaragua protests
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