“It hurts to breathe.” These were the last words of Álvaro Conrado, a 15-year-old Nicaraguan student shot to death by government paramilitary forces in April 2018. Conrado was just one of thousands of civilians who took to the streets to protest against the government’s proposed reforms to Nicaragua’s social security program. These reforms would increase worker and employer contributions while reducing payouts by five percent, and could worsen the economy of the country — already the second poorest in Latin America. The government led by President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice-President Rosario Murillo, deployed paramilitary forces to suppress demonstrations and denied medical attention to injured protesters at public hospitals.
March 27, 2023