Saturday, April 21, 2018

Protecting Pensions in Nicaragua

The Daniel Ortega government of Nicaragua introduced new legislation that increased worker pension contributions and reduced overall pension payments by 5% supposedly for medical care. Employees will now have to contribute 7 percent of their salary to social security, up from a current 6.25 percent.

The vice-president Rosario Murillo, wife of Ortega, had the audacity to call protestors against this austerity new pension law "vampires demanding blood".  Protestors complained in various cities that riot police attacked the demonstrators,  firing tear gas and rubber bullets and that the government had been sending in its supporter groups known as "colectivos" to beat them up. Two protestors were shot dead. Protesters held signs saying: “no more repression” and “we are not scared.”

Former leftist guerrilla leader has been president since 2007 and critics accuse him of trying to set up a dynastic dictatorship embracing the free market and privatisation.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, said, “These thuggish attacks on people who were demonstrating peacefully and journalists who were covering the protest left at least one person in hospital and several others badly injured. This represents a blatant and disturbing attempt to curtail their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. The Nicaraguan authorities must guarantee that people are able to freely express themselves without fear of repression. The State must put an immediate end to all acts of aggression against the public and the press and launch a timely, impartial and independent investigation to bring to justice all of those responsible for these sinister attacks.”

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

Daniel Ortega has scrapped the changes to social security that have prompted protests