The security situation in Nicaragua remains volatile and precarious. The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office is still advising against all but essential travel to Nicaragua. The US Embassy has told employees to avoid ‘Rotonda Metrocentro when there are incidents in the area, Rotonda Universitaria at all times, and the vicinity of all universities, particularly UNAN.

Last week a national strike emptied the streets, as members of the opposition demanded the resignation of President Ortega. Over the weekend, peace talks between the authorities and the opposition had lead to a truce, in which hostilities would end and roadblocks would be removed. Hours later, a house was set on fire, killing six members of the same family. Two more people were killed in a shoot out with police. It is unclear what this violence means for the truce, as the peace talks are set to continue.

At least 200 people have died and over a thousand have been injured since protests began in April, when President Ortega proposed slashing benefits while increasing taxes. Protests have been widespread and unpredictable. The Daily Beast has this account from Joe Tustin of his recent motorcycle ride through the country. It is an intense read and offers some insights in to an under-reported security nightmare.

To read our recent coverage of the situation in Nicaragua, please click through here

Travel advice

  • If you do not need to be in Nicaragua, make arrangements to leave as soon as possible.
  • Protests and violence have occurred with very little warning – make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and be aware of the potential for rapid, violent changes.
  • Keep in regular contact with your employer and friends and family.
  • Monitor local media. The US Embassy advises that ‘100% Noticias (known also as Channel 15 or Channel 63 on cable) and Radio Corporación offer nearly 24/7 news coverage.’
  • Avoid crowds and demonstrations.
  • Avoid leaving your accommodation after dark.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of cash, food, potable water, and fuel if sheltering in place.

There is further official travel advice below.

News and headlines

 

Official travel advice

Latest from the US Embassy, updated on the 13th of June –

The U.S. Embassy in Managua will be closed to the public on June 14, 2018 due to anticipated transport disruptions throughout the country associated with the planned national work stoppage (Paro).  The U.S. Embassy will provide limited emergency consular services by telephone only. Regular appointments will be rescheduled as quickly as possible.

The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that   all closures to the public are announced on our webpage (https://ni.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/embassy-operating-status/) and on our Facebook page, as well as via a Security Alert email to U.S. citizens enrolled with the Embassy. Please check the above webpage to ensure the Embassy is open before traveling for services.

Events over the past several weeks in Nicaragua have shown that locations, routes, times, sizes, and possible violence at demonstrations, roadblocks, and downtown areas of various cities throughout the country are all unpredictable. Although it appears that the greatest levels of violence occur between sundown and sunup, outbreaks of violence also have occurred during daylight hours. The Embassy has limited resources to assist U.S. citizens affected by violence and encourages those who fear for their safety to leave the area as quickly and safely as possible.

U.S. government personnel in Nicaragua must remain in their homes and avoid unnecessary travel outside of work hours. They must avoid Rotonda Metrocentro when there are incidents in the area, Rotonda Universitaria at all times, and the vicinity of all universities, particularly UNAN. Additional areas are placed off-limits as needed and vary frequently.

Until further notice:

  • All routine U.S. citizen services (U.S. passports, reports of births abroad, notarials, etc.) are available by appointment only at https://evisaforms.state.gov.
  • S. citizens needing emergency passports (for imminent travel only) may visit the Embassy between 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, when the Embassy has not announced a closure.
  • Embassy Managua is no longer providing routine nonimmigrant or immigrant visa services.  Embassy Managua cannot provide services for immigrant visa petitions that have not yet been filed, approved, or sent to Embassy Managua for visa processing, and is currently not accepting new immigrant visa cases from the National Visa Center.  Likewise, unless nonimmigrant visa applicants meet very strict expedited appointment requirements (medical emergencies or students and exchange visitors with impending report dates), they will not be able to have interviews in Managua for the foreseeable future.  Additional information about where else to apply for nonimmigrant visas is available at http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ni, and applicants with pending immigrant visa cases can contact the National Visa Center to explore if other options are available.

Actions to Take:

  • If you feel unsafe, make arrangements to leave the country; commercial flights are available.  There are no plans for a U.S.-government assisted evacuation.
  • Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Do not participate in demonstrations. Foreigners, including U.S.-Nicaraguan dual nationals, may risk arrest or expulsion if they participate in protests.
  • Do not attempt to drive through any large groups and/or barricades encountered on the street.
  • Restrict unnecessary travel.
  • Remain indoors after dark. Violence increases after sundown.
  • If you are safe, please regularly inform your family and friends in the United States.  The Embassy is receiving a high number of calls regarding people’s welfare.
  • Maintain adequate supplies of cash, food, potable water, and fuel if sheltering in place.
  • Monitor local media. 100% Noticias (known also as Channel 15 or Channel 63 on cable) and Radio Corporación offer nearly 24/7 news coverage.

Assistance:

Please click through here to access the US Embassy website.

Sources

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