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Ortega Tries to Erase April Protests and Declares a “Month of Peace”

The Ortega-Murillo dictatorship orders all State powers, schools, universities, municipal and regional governments to “celebrate” April

Redacción Confidencial

9 de abril 2024


The National Assembly of Nicaragua approved on Monday, April 8, 2024, a bill that declares April as the “Month of Peace,” in an attempt to erase another anniversary of the massive protests that erupted in April 2018 against the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, who repressed them and caused hundreds of deaths.

The initiative, consisting of three articles, was passed urgently with the votes of 89 out of the 91 deputies who make up that branch of government.

April is a key date for the Nicaraguan opposition, as it recalls, mainly in exile, the popular demonstrations that erupted six years ago. In April 2018, thousands of Nicaraguans took to the streets to protest against controversial reforms to social security, which later turned into a demand for Ortega’s resignation after he responded with deadly force.

The protests left at least 355 dead according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although Nicaraguan organizations raise the figure to 684. Ortega acknowledges that there were “more than 300” and maintains that it was an attempt at a “coup d’état.”

The dictatorship orders to celebrate “April”

The initiative, in its first article, declares “the month of April as the month of peace. Peace, the heritage of the Nicaraguan people, the supreme blessing achieved in our free, dignified, and sovereign Nicaragua, is a historical legacy that we must celebrate with respect, concord, and fraternity for prosperity.”

The regulation orders to celebrate every year the month of April “with the contagious joy of Nicaraguan families, deepening the values, attitudes, and behaviors that correspond to the culture of peace of the Nicaraguan people,” [in the typical language of the only government spokesperson, VP Rosario Murillo].

“In April of each year, the central Government, the State powers, institutions, schools, colleges and universities, media, municipal and regional Governments will carry out activities in unity with Nicaraguan families, communities, and organized youth to celebrate in the entire national territory, the month of peace,” says that law, which will come into force with its publication in the Official Gazette.

Opposition will commemorate the April rebellion in exile

In April 2023, the Government of Nicaragua, in coordination with the legislative assembly —mostly Sandinista— declared April 19 as National Peace Day.

Young opposition members describe April 19 as the “National Day of Remembrance of the Victims.”

The Nicaraguan opposition plans to commemorate the sixth anniversary of these anti-government protests in Costa Rica and the United States.

The main activities, including a mass, a march, and a related book presentation, are scheduled for next weekend, and for April 18 and 19, the dates on which the social uprising against the Ortega administration erupted six years ago. Ortega has been in power since 2007.

Nicaragua has been experiencing a political and social crisis since April 2018, which has intensified following the controversial general elections on November 7, 2021, in which Ortega re-elected himself for a fifth term and fourth consecutive term, with his main contenders in prison.

This article was published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.


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Redacción Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.