Get the latest intelligence updates surrounding the anti-government protests and violence that is ongoing in Nicaragua. 

Update 1: 5/14/2018: Protesters block roads, continue demonstrations in Nicaragua May 14. Transport disruptions likely; clashes possible.
Update 2: 5/22/2018: Protest leaders refuse to dismantle roadblocks throughout Nicaragua as of May 21. Transport disruptions likely; clashes possible.
Update 3: 5/24/2018: Protests likely to escalate in Nicaragua following May 23 suspension of talks. Heightened security, violence probable.
Update 4: 5/29/2018: Protests, roadblocks likely to persist in Nicaragua despite May 28 agreement to resume national dialogue. Violence probable.
Update 5: 5/31/2018: Violent protests likely to increase in Nicaragua at least through early June, following deadly clashes May 30. Avoid all protests.
Update 6: 6/4/2018: Roadblocks, violence likely to continue in Nicaragua through at least June 15, following deadly clashes June 3-4.
Update 7: 6/11/2018: Violent protests, roadblocks likely to continue in Nicaragua through June, following deadly clashes June 8-11. Avoid all protests.
Update 8: 6/20/2018: Violent protests, roadblocks likely to continue in Nicaragua through June following collapse of talks June 18. Avoid all protests.
Update 9: 6/27/2018: Violent protests, roadblocks likely to continue in Nicaragua through early July amid political stalemate. Strike action possible.
Update 10: 7/8/2018: Protests likely to continue in Nicaragua after president refuses to hold early elections. Protests, strike planned July 12-14.
Update 11: 7/16/2018: Protests likely to continue in Nicaragua through July; violence probable. Fatal paramilitary clean-up operations in southwest.
Update 12: 7/20/2018: Unrest, security operations, likely to continue in Nicaragua through July, despite increasing international pressure.
Update 13: 7/28/2018: Unrest, security operations, likely to continue in Nicaragua through July, despite increasing international pressure.
Update 14: 8/3/2018: Anti-government protests likely to persist in Nicaragua through August amid new anti-terrorism law. Violence probable.
Security Update: 8/13/2018: Anti-government activists plan nationwide protests in Nicaragua Aug. 15. Protest also planned at UCA, Managua, Aug. 13. Violence probable.
Update 15: 8/16/2018: Anti-government protests in Nicaragua likely to persist with decreasing frequency through August.
Update 16: 9/1/2018: Anti-government protests in Nicaragua likely to continue through September, especially following expulsion of UN commission.
Security Alert: 9/11/2018: Pro-government activists plan to protest nationwide in Nicaragua, Sept. 12-14. Counterprotests likely; violence possible. Avoid gatherings.
Security Alert: 9/14/2018: Anti-government activists plan to protest nationwide in Nicaragua, Sept. 14-15. Counterprotests, violence possible. Avoid gatherings. 
Security Alert: 9/18/2018: Activists planning to protest outside Managua Court, in Managua, Nicaragua, Sept. 18. Threat of violence elevated. Avoid all protests.
Security Alert: 9/20/2018: Anti-government activists planning to protest at Rotonda Metrocentro in Managua, Nicaragua, at 1400 Sept. 20. Violence possible.


Security:
Anti-government activists planning to protest at Rotonda Metrocentro in Managua, Nicaragua, at 1400 Sept. 20. Violence possible.

This alert affects Managua

  • Event: Protest
  • Location: Rotonda Metrocentro, Managua
  • Start Time/Date: 1400 Sept. 20
  • Impact: Heightened security, localized traffic disruptions; possible clashes

Click the image for an interactive map of protest locations. 

Summary
The Madres de Abril (Mothers of April) movement has called for a sit-in protest at one of Managua's main roundabouts, Rotonda Metrocentro (also known as Rotonda Ruben Dario), at 1400 Sept. 20, to demand justice for family members allegedly killed in violent protests that began in mid-April. Thousands of people could attend the protest.

A heightened police presence and associated traffic disruptions are likely near the protest site. Counterdemonstrations by government supporters are possible. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters are probable.

Background and Analysis
According to the last report by the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) July 26, at least 448 people have been killed and 718 have disappeared since the protests began in mid-April. Most of the deaths have occurred in the Managua and Masaya departments. While fatalities linked to the protests have decreased significantly, protesters are increasingly demanding the release of alleged political prisoners. President Daniel Ortega's government remains unwilling to negotiate an end to the crisis or to concede to the opposition's demands, which include releasing political prisoners and bringing forward the 2021 presidential election.

Advice

Avoid all protests. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately; if unable to do so, seek shelter in a publicly accessible non-government building until it is safe to depart. Allow additional time for ground travel in Managua Sept. 20.


Security:
Activists planning to protest outside Managua Court, in Managua, Nicaragua, Sept. 18. Threat of violence elevated. Avoid all protests.

This alert affects Managua 

  • Event: Protest
  • Location: Court of Managua, Managua
  • Start time/Date: 0830 Sept. 18
  • Impact: Heightened security, localized traffic disruptions; probable clashes

Click the image for an interactive map of protest locations. 

Summary 

The April 19 Civic Movement has called for a protest outside the Managua Court (Juzgados de Managua) at 0830 Sept. 18, which will coincide with the trial of five of its members. The activists on trial were allegedly detained by pro-government paramilitaries in Ciudad Dario, June 26. The movement alleges that the five were unjustly imprisoned by the administration of President Daniel Ortega.

A heightened police presence and associated traffic disruptions are likely near the courthouse. Counterdemonstrations by government supporters are possible. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters are probable.

Background and Analysis
Several anti-government protests have occurred in Nicaragua to demand the release of alleged political prisoners; the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH) has reported that more than 200 people have been detained, arrested, or prosecuted for their involvement in previous protests against Ortega's regime. The spike in arrests follows the July 16 approval of the government's controversial anti-terrorist legislation, which has been widely perceived as being part of a government strategy to crack down on opposition protesters. President Ortega remains unwilling to negotiate an end to the crisis or to concede to the opposition's demands, which include releasing political prisoners and bringing forward the 2021 presidential election.

Advice
Avoid all protests. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately; if unable to do so, seek shelter in a publicly accessible non-government building until it is safe to depart. Allow additional time for ground travel in Managua Sept. 18.


Security: 
Anti-government activists plan to protest nationwide in Nicaragua, Sept. 14-15. Counterprotests, violence possible. Avoid gatherings.

This alert affects Nicaragua

  • Event: Anti-government protests
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Managua (map)
  • Date: Sept. 14-15
  • Impact: Heightened security, transport disruptions; possible counterdemonstrations and clashes

Click the image for an interactive map of protest locations. 

Summary
The Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (Alianza Civica por la Justicia y la Democracia, ACJD) has called for protests across Nicaragua Sept. 14-15, for freedom, democracy, and justice. The exact details of the protest times and locations have not been announced. The protests on Sept. 14 will coincide with demonstrations organized by Nicaragua's ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in support of President Daniel Ortega.

The main protests are likely to take place in Managua. The Central American University (UCA), Ruben Dario roundabout, and Jean Paul Genie roundabout have become common rally points for anti-government protests. Elsewhere, unannounced rallies are likely in major cities including Masaya, Esteli, Granada, and Leon.

Security will almost certainly be increased near government buildings and large protest gatherings. Precedent suggests that clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters are probable. Expect localized traffic disruptions near all protests, particularly those in Managua.

Background and Analysis
President Ortega remains unwilling to negotiate an end to the crisis or to concede to the opposition's demands, which include releasing political prisoners and bringing forward the 2021 presidential election. While fatalities linked to the protests continue to decrease, protesters are increasingly demanding the release of alleged political prisoners; the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH) has reported that more than 200 people have been detained, arrested, or prosecuted for their involvement in previous protests against Ortega's regime.

Advice
Avoid all protests. Allow additional time for ground travel, especially in Managua. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately. If unable to do so, seek shelter in a publicly accessible non-government building until it is safe to depart.


Security:
Pro-government activists plan to protest nationwide in Nicaragua, Sept. 12-14. Counterprotests likely; violence possible. Avoid gatherings.

This alert affects Nicaragua

  • Event: Pro-government protest marches
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Managua
  • Date: Sept. 12-14
  • Impact: Heightened security, transport disruptions; possible counterdemonstrations and clashes

Click the image for an interactive map of protest locations. 

Summary
Nicaragua's ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) has called for protests in municipalities across the country Sept. 12-14, to call for peace amid the widespread anti-government protests that have been taking place since April. The main protests have been planned in Managua. Participants plan to march through the city's major thoroughfares, including the Jean Paul Genie, Centroamerica, Ruben Dario (Metrocentro) and Hugo Chaves roundabouts, from 1500 each day. Elsewhere, unannounced rallies are likely in major cities including Masaya, Esteli, Granada, and Leon.

Counterdemonstrations by anti-government activists are highly likely, especially following reported attacks by pro-government paramilitaries on anti-government protesters in Jalapa, Sept. 9. Media reports indicate that at least two people were wounded after the paramilitaries made use of live ammunition.

Security will almost certainly be increased near government buildings and large protest gatherings. Precedent suggests that clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters are probable. Expect localized traffic disruptions near all protests, particularly those in Managua.

Background and Analysis
President Daniel Ortega remains unwilling to negotiate an end to the crisis or to concede to the opposition's demands, which include releasing political prisoners and bringing forward the 2021 presidential election. While fatalities linked to the protests continue to decrease, protesters are increasingly demanding the release of alleged political prisoners; the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH) has reported that more than 200 people have been detained, arrested, or prosecuted for their involvement in previous protests against Ortega's regime.

Advice
Avoid all protests. Allow additional time for ground travel, especially in Managua. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately. If unable to do so, seek shelter in a publicly accessible non-government building until it is safe to depart.


Update 16:
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua likely to continue through September, especially following expulsion of UN commission.

This alert affects Nicaragua

  • Incident: Anti-government protests
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Managua
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security, commercial and transport disruptions; possible clashes

Click the image for an interactive map of protest locations. 

Summary
Anti-government protests continue to be reported in Nicaragua, especially since President Daniel Ortega ordered the expulsion of the UN human rights mission in Nicaragua, Aug. 31. The announcement followed the Aug. 29 publication of a critical report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) accusing the government of the violent repression of opposition protests and calling for an end to the violence.

Ortega's announcement sparked protests in the capital Managua outside the Central American University (UCA) and the Ruben Dario roundabout, which has become a common rally point for anti-government protests. Further pro- and anti-government protests have been planned in Managua:

  • Sept. 1: Pro-government activists plan to gather at Rotonda Centroamerica at 1500, and march to the Rotonda Hugo Chavez.
  • Sept. 2: Anti-government activists plan to gather at Rotonda Cristo Rey at 1000 and march to Rotonda del Periodista.

Protests elsewhere in the country are highly likely, especially in southwestern cities, given recent precedent. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters and paramilitaries are possible at any future protests.

Background and Analysis
The OHCHR report accuses the government of various human rights violations, including "the disproportionate use of force by police, sometimes resulting in extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearances; widespread arbitrary detentions; torture and ill-treatment; and violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and of peaceful assembly." The report also indicates that 300 people have been killed and 2,000 others wounded during the unrest since April 18. The OHCHR has called on the Nicaraguan government to end such harassment, intimidation, and criminalization and to immediately dismantle and disarm pro-government elements, halt all unlawful arrests, and release all those who have been arbitrarily detained.

Ortega has rejected the reported and accused the OHCHR of being biased. His rejection of the report and expulsion of UN commission in Nicaragua indicates that the president is still unwilling to negotiate an end to the crisis or concede to the demands of the opposition, which include bringing forward the 2021 presidential election. While the incidence of fatalities linked to the protests continues to decrease, protesters are increasingly demanding the release of alleged political prisoners; the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH) has reported that more than 200 people have been detained, arrested, or prosecuted for their involvement in previous protests against Ortega's regime.

Advice
Avoid all protests. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Reconfirm transport services and business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.

 


Update 15: 8/16/2018
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua likely to persist with decreasing frequency through August.

This alert affects Nicaragua

  • Incident: Anti-government protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security; commercial and transport disruptions; possible clashes

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary

Anti-government protests in Nicaragua will likely persist following President Daniel Ortega's Aug. 15 rejection of an Organization of American States (OAS) working group in the country. The level of violence in recent protests has largely decreased. Nevertheless, opponents of the government continue to stage mass protests, especially in Managua, albeit less frequently. Activists plan to stage a new demonstration in the Nicaraguan capital Aug. 18, with participants gathering at the Jean Paul Genie roundabout at 1400 before marching through Plaza las Victorias to the Cristo Rey roundabout.

Protests elsewhere in the country are highly likely, especially in southwestern cities. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters and paramilitaries are possible at any future protests. Most of the highly disruptive opposition roadblocks constructed in various locations across Nicaragua were removed during large-scale clearance operations by security forces and pro-government paramilitary groups in July.

The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) reported July 26 that at least 448 people have been killed and 718 have disappeared since the protests began in mid-April. Most of the deaths have occurred in the Managua and Masaya departments. The most recent death occurred during a protest in Matagalpa, Aug. 11. While the incidence of fatalities linked to the protests continues to decrease, protesters are increasingly demanding the release of alleged political prisoners; the Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH) has reported that around 130 people have been arrested or prosecuted for their involvement in previous protests against Ortega's regime.

Background and Analysis
On Aug. 2, the Organization of American States (OAS) approved the creation of a working group to seek a peaceful solution to Nicaragua's political crisis; Ortega's rejection of the presence of the OAS working group in the country indicates that the president is still unwilling to negotiate an end to the crisis or concede to the demands of the opposition, which include bringing forward the 2021 presidential election. Meanwhile, the confrontation has significantly affected the country's economy. Nicaragua's Minister of Finance and Public Credit announced Aug. 14 that the legislature approved cutting the 2018 state budget by 9.2 percent in response to a drop in tax revenue and external financing since the protests began in April. This represents the largest budget cut since 2007.

Advice
Avoid all protests. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Reconfirm transport services and business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic missio n.


Security: 8/13/2018
Anti-government activists plan nationwide protests in Nicaragua Aug. 15. Protest also planned at UCA, Managua, Aug. 13. Violence probable.

This alert affects Nicaragua

  • Event: Protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Dates: Aug. 13 and 15
  • Impact: Heightened security; likely clashes; commercial and transport disruptions

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary
Opponents of President Daniel Ortega plan to stage multiple protests in Nicaragua Aug. 13 and 15, to demand the release of those allegedly unjustly imprisoned by Ortega's administration. The Permanent Commission of Human Rights (CPDH) has reported that around 130 people have been arrested or prosecuted for their involvement in previous protests against Ortega's regime.

  • Aug. 13: Activists plan to stage a sit-in protest at the Central America University of Nicaragua (UCA) in the capital from 1000.
  • Aug. 15: Leaders of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (Alianza Civica por la Justicia y la Democracia) have called for a mass protests across the country. Protests are likely in urban areas such as Managua, Chinandega, Esteli, Leon, Jinotega, Masaya, and Matagalpa.

Expect a heightened police presence, road closures, and associated traffic disruptions near all protest sites. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters are probable. Even mass marches intended to be peaceful can turn violent; this was highlighted by clashes during the May 30 "Mothers' Day" march in Managua, in which 20 people were killed, the June 30 "March of Flowers," when two people were killed following attacks by pro-government armed groups, and most recently in Matagalpa Aug. 11, when one person was killed.

Advice
Avoid all protests. Allow additional time for ground travel, especially in Managua. If violence breaks out nearby, leave the area immediately; if unable to do so, seek shelter in a publicly accessible non-government building until it is safe to depart.


Update 14: 8/3/2018 
Anti-government protests likely to persist in Nicaragua through August amid new anti-terrorism law. Violence probable.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Incident: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security; clashes; commercial and transport disruptions; possible food and fuel shortages; land seizures

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary

Violent protests will likely continue through August in Nicaragua, especially in response to reports of an increase in arbitrary arrests and detentions by the Nicaraguan National Police (PNN) following the July 16 approval of the controversial anti-terrorist legislation by President Daniel Ortega's administration. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) asserts that the new law is likely part of a government strategy to crack down on opposition protesters.

Anti-government activists plan to stage a mass protest in Masaya Aug. 4. Participants will gather at San Miguel Church at 1400, before marching to San Juan Church via the San Geronimo roundabout. Masaya, which was retaken by security forces and paramilitary groups July 17 after residents had barricaded the city, has become the epicenter of resistance against the Ortega administration. Protests elsewhere in the country are highly likely, especially in cities in the country's southwest. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters and paramilitaries are highly likely during any future protests, regardless of whether they are planned or spontaneous.

Since early July, pro-government paramilitary groups and armed civilians have launched multiple operations to dismantle roadblocks and barricades erected by anti-government demonstrators, including in Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Masaya, and Matagalpa departments. Despite succeeding in opening up several roads, these operations have resulted in significant violence, with dozens of people being killed in associated shootouts. Fuel and food shortages will likely continue in some areas due to the remaining roadblocks and may worsen while the protests persist.

The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) reported on July 26 that at least 448 people have been killed and 718 have disappeared since the protests began in mid-April. Most of the deaths have occurred in the Managua and Masaya departments.

Background and Analysis

On Aug. 2, the Organization of American States (OAS) approved the creation of a working group to seek a peaceful solution to Nicaragua's political crisis; however, the government accuses the OAS of interfering in the country's internal affairs and has refused to recognize any OAS commission to monitor the situation. Ortega also remains unwilling to concede to the demands of the opposition, including refusing to bring forward the 2021 presidential election, despite increasing international pressure. Nicaragua's military, which has mostly supported the now failed peace negotiation process, may face increasing pressure to intervene in the civil unrest, especially if violence by paramilitary groups rises, or if the US imposes sanctions on military leaders.

Several foreign governments maintain travel advisories for Nicaragua. The US and Australian governments advise their citizens to reconsider travel to Nicaragua, while the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Canadian government advise against all but essential travel to the country.

Advice

Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross any roadblocks; use alternative routes to bypass affected areas. Do not wait for police to clear roadways, as violence is common when security personnel try to disperse protesters. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Plan for freight delivery delays. Reconfirm transport services and business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission. 


Update 13: 7/28/2018 
Unrest, security operations, likely to continue in Nicaragua through July, despite increasing international pressure.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Incident: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security; clashes; commercial and transport disruptions; possible food and fuel shortages; land seizures

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary

Nicaragua continues to be affected by anti-government civil unrest, as well as violent security operations conducted by the Nicaraguan National Police (PNN) and pro-government paramilitary groups. Protests and the security operations are likely to persist well into August. The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) reported on July 26 that at least 448 people have been killed and 718 had disappeared since the protests began mid-April. Most of the deaths have occurred in the Managua and Masaya departments.

On July 17, security forces and paramilitary groups launched an operation to retake the city of Masaya, where residents had barricaded the city for weeks. The Monimbo area, in particular, has become the epicenter of protests against the Ortega administration. Similar, the Sandino neighborhood of Jinotega has also become an opposition stronghold where violent protests are common. The operation came a day after the government passed a sweeping anti-terrorism law mandating a 15-to-20-year prison sentence for destroying public or private property if the destruction is aimed at forcing the government to carry out any act. The law also mandates the same sentence against anyone who finances such destruction, and it further places non-governmental organizations under the supervision of the state. Because the law is clearly geared toward classifying demonstrators and human rights organizations as terrorists, it is highly controversial and may spur further protests. It also puts those who may be inadvertently caught up in violence at risk of prosecution and imprisonment.

On July 25, a trade group of farmers reported that nearly 9,000 acres of land had been seized by squatters, some of whom are armed, since May. Landowners says that the seizures have been organized by the government as retaliation for flagging support for President Daniel Ortega within the business community.

Since early July, the PNN, along with pro-government paramilitary groups and armed civilians, have launched multiple operations to dismantle roadblocks and barricades erected by anti-government demonstrators, including in Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Masaya, and Matagalpa departments. While efforts to remove the blockades have opened up some roads, the operations have been excessively violent; dozens of people have been killed during associated shootouts.

Due to the remaining blockades, fuel and food shortages in some areas are likely to continue and may worsen while the protests persist. Transport disruptions are probable, especially on intercity roads. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters and paramilitaries are highly likely during any upcoming protests, planned or spontaneous. Continued land seizures are likely, as is government harassment of non-governmental organizations, including international groups. Those unintentionally caught up in violence face the threat of prosecution under the new anti-terrorism law.

Background and Analysis

Ortega remains unwilling to concede to the demands of the opposition, including refusing to bring forward the 2021 presidential election - one of the main demands of opposition activists, despite increasing international pressure. On July 18, the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution condemning the human rights violations in the country and called on Ortega to support an electoral calendar that can be agreed on with the opposition, which is highly likely aimed at bringing forward the election. Additionally, on July 5, the US government announced new sanctions on three of Ortega's allies. Nicaragua's military, which has mostly supported the now failed peace negotiation process, may face increasing pressure to intervene in the civil unrest, especially if violence by paramilitaries increases, or if the US imposes sanctions on military leaders.

Several foreign governments maintain travel advisories for Nicaragua. The US and Australian governments advise their citizens to reconsider travel to Nicaragua, while the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Canadian government advise against all but essential travel to the country.

Advice

Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross any roadblocks; use alternative routes to bypass affected areas. Do not wait for police to clear roadways, as violence has been common when security personnel try to disperse protesters. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Plan for freight delivery delays. Reconfirm transport services and business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.


Update 12: 7/20/2018 
Unrest, security operations, likely to continue in Nicaragua through July, despite increasing international pressure.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Incident: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security; clashes; commercial and transport disruptions; possible food and fuel shortages

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 


Summary
Nicaragua continues to be affected by anti-government civil unrest and violent security operations conducted by the National Police of Nicaragua (PNN) and pro-government paramilitary groups. The protests and the associated security operations are likely to persist through July. Activists opposed to President Daniel Ortega plan to stage a mass protest in Managua, July 22. Participants intend to gather at Ruben Dario roundabout at 1000 and march to the Centroamerica roundabout.

The Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) reported on July 10 that at least 351 people have been killed and more than 2,000 other wounded since the protests began mid-April. Most of the deaths have occurred in the Managua and Masaya departments. On July 17, security forces and paramilitary groups launched an operation to retake the city of Masaya, where residents had barricaded the city for weeks. The Monimbo area, in particular, has become the epicenter of resistance against the Ortega administration. At least four people were reportedly killed in the violence. Separately, three people were injured after being shot at by suspected pro-government armed groups in the Sandino area of Jinotega. The neighborhood has also become an opposition stronghold against Ortega.

Since early July, the PNN, along with pro-government paramilitary groups and armed civilians, has launched multiple operations to dismantle roadblocks and barricades erected by anti-government demonstrators, including in Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Masaya, and Matagalpa departments. While efforts to remove the blockades have opened up some roads, the operations have been described as excessively violent; dozens of people have been killed during associated shootouts. Due to the remaining blockades, fuel and food shortages in some areas are likely to continue and may worsen while the protests persist. Transport disruptions are probable, especially on intercity roads. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters and paramilitaries are highly likely during any upcoming protests, planned or spontaneous.

Background and Analysis

Ortega remains unwilling to concede to the demands of the opposition, including refusing to bring forward the 2021 presidential election - one of the main demands of opposition activists, despite increasing international pressure. On July 18, the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution condemning the human rights violations in the country and called on Ortega to support an electoral calendar that can be agreed on with opposition, which is highly likely aimed at bringing forward the election. Additionally, on July 5, the US government announced new sanctions on three of Ortega's allies. Nicaragua's military, which has mostly supported the now failed peace negotiation process, may face increasing pressure to intervene in the civil unrest, especially if violence by paramilitaries increases, or if the US imposes sanctions on military leaders.

Several foreign governments maintain travel advisories for Nicaragua. The US and Australian governments advise their citizens to reconsider travel to Nicaragua, while the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Canadian government advise against all but essential travel to the country.

Advice

Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross any roadblocks; use alternative routes to bypass affected areas. Do not wait for police to clear roadways, as violence has been common when security personnel try to disperse protesters. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Plan for freight delivery delays. Reconfirm transport services and business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.


Update 11: 7/16/2018 
Protests likely to continue in Nicaragua through July; violence probable. Fatal paramilitary clean-up operations in southwest.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Incident: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security; clashes; commercial and transport disruptions; possible food and fuel shortages

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary
Anti-government groups are likely to continue to stage disruptive protests in Nicaragua through July, especially following a series of violent paramilitary "clean-up" operations in the country. Most recently, paramilitary operations south of Managua, July 15 left at least 10 people dead and approximately 20 others wounded. Paramilitary forces, which include heavily armed pro-government civilians, and riot police stormed the areas of Diria and Diriomo (Grenada Department), and Masaya city, Niquinohomo, Catarina, and La Concepcion (Masaya Department) as part of their ongoing operations to dismantle roadblocks and barricades erected by anti-government protesters.

Before this, pro-government gunmen held more than 200 students under siege at the Jesus of Divine Mercy church in the capital, July 13-14. The students are said to have taken refuge in the church after the police drove them out of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN), where they have been barricaded for several weeks. Two student protesters were killed in the attack.

Since early July, pro-government paramilitary groups and armed civilians have launched multiple operations to dismantle roadblocks and barricades erected by anti-government demonstrators, including in Esteli, Granada, Jinotega, Leon, Masaya, and Matagalpa departments. While efforts to remove the blockades have opened up some roads, dozens of roadblocks remain in place nationwide. The blockades have resulted in severe ground transport disruptions and truck shipment delays. Fuel and food shortages in some areas are likely to continue and may worsen while the protests persist. Transport disruptions are probable, especially on intercity roads. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters and paramilitaries are highly likely during any upcoming protests, planned or spontaneous.

Background and Analysis
The violent unrest, which has left more than 300 people dead since mid-April, is likely to continue as long as President Daniel Ortega continues to refuse to bring forward the 2021 presidential election - one of the main demands of opposition activists, and may escalate if the paramilitary operations result in high numbers of deaths. International pressure may also increase. On July 5, the US government announced new sanctions on three of Ortega's allies. Nicaragua's military, which has mostly supported the now failed peace negotiation process, may face increasing pressure to intervene in the civil unrest, especially if violence by paramilitaries increases, or if the US imposes sanctions on military leaders.

Several foreign governments maintain travel advisories for Nicaragua. The US and Australian governments advise their citizens to reconsider travel to Nicaragua; while the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Canadian government advise against all but essential travel to the country.

Advice
Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross any roadblocks; use alternative routes to bypass affected areas. Do not wait for police to clear roadways, as violence has been common when security personnel try to disperse protesters. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Plan for freight delivery delays. Reconfirm transport services and business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.


Update 10: 7/8/2018 
Protests likely to continue in Nicaragua after president refuses to hold early elections. Protests, strike planned July 12-14.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Event: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security; clashes; commercial and transport disruptions; possible food and fuel shortages

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary
Anti-government groups are likely to continue to stage disruptive protests in Nicaragua after President Daniel Ortega announced July 7 that he will not consider bringing forward the 2021 presidential election - one of the main demands of opposition activists. Ortega also criticized the Conference of Catholic Bishops (Conferencia Episcopal de Nicaragua, or CEN), which has attempted to mediate peace negotiations between the government and opposition group leaders, such as the umbrella organization, the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (Alianza Civica por la Justicia y la Democracia). 

The Civic Alliance has called on supporters to stage nationwide protests July 12-14. Group members also plan to stage a nationwide strike July 13. On July 14, a caravan protest is scheduled in the capital, although the exact protest locations have not been announced. In addition to the capital, protests are likely in urban areas across the country, such as Chinandega, Esteli, Leon, Jinotega, and Masaya. Clashes between anti-government activists, riot police, and government supporters and paramilitaries are highly likely.

Between July 2-8, pro-government paramilitary groups and armed civilians launched multiple operations to dismantle roadblocks erected by anti-government demonstrators in Diriamba, Jinotepe, La Trinidad, Leon, Masaya, Matagalpa, Matiguas, Ometepe, and Wiwilli de Jinotega. The violent operations have resulted in the deaths of at least six civilians. While efforts to remove the blockades have opened up some roads, some 40 roadblocks remain in place nationwide. The blockades have resulted in severe ground transport disruptions and truck shipment delays. Fuel and food shortages in some areas are likely to continue and may worsen while the protests persist. Transport disruptions are probable, especially on inter-city roads.

On July 6, the US Embassy in Managua updated its travel advisory for Nicaragua and ordered the departure of non-emergency US government personnel in the country. The embassy also continues to advise travelers to reconsider travel to Nicaragua.

Background and Analysis
The CEN is unlikely to attempt to revive peace talks between government officials and anti-government representatives, following Ortega's July 7 statements. Domestic pressure on Ortega to resign and call for early elections will probably continue to take the form of widespread civil unrest. International pressure may also increase. On July 5, the US government announced new sanctions on three of Ortega's allies. Nicaragua's military, which has largely supported the peace negotiation process, may face increasing pressure to intervene in the civil unrest, especially if violence by paramilitaries increases, or if the US imposes sanctions on military leaders.

As of July 3, the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) has reported at least 309 deaths, since the protests began mid-April. Most of the deaths occurred in Managua and Masaya departments. The number of fatalities linked to the political crisis is likely to increase amid the ongoing protests and associated operations by pro-government paramilitaries. 

Advice
Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross any roadblocks; use alternative routes to bypass affected areas. Do not wait for police to clear roadways, as violence has been common when security personnel try to disperse protesters. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.


Update 9: 7/8/2018 
Violent protests, roadblocks likely to continue in Nicaragua through early July amid political stalemate. Strike action possible.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Event: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Clashes; commercial and transport disruptions; possible food and fuel shortages; flight suspensions

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary
Leaders of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy (Alianza Civica por la Justicia y la Democracia) - an umbrella organization encompassing student groups, chambers of commerce, civil society associations, and farmers' unions - have called on supporters to continue protests in Nicaragua, after negotiators failed to make progress in peace talks with the government. The country's Conference of Catholic Bishops (Conferencia Episcopal de Nicaragua, or CEN) relaunched the negotiations June 25. 
Activist leaders have also threatened to stage a 48-hour nationwide strike in the coming days; however, the exact start date has not been confirmed.

Protests are likely in urban areas such as Chinandega, Jinotega, Managua, Masaya, Mulukuku, and Sebaco. Expect heightened police presence, road closures, and associated traffic disruptions near all protest sites. In the capital, the campuses of Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), Universidad Politecnica de Nicaragua (UNIPOLI), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN), and Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI), have become flashpoints for protests. Violence is likely near any significant demonstrations and around major highways. Clashes involving armed pro-government civilians are also possible at any anti-government demonstrations that may materialize.

Anti-government protesters have built dozens of roadblocks nationwide and maintained them for several weeks. The blockades have resulted in severe ground transport disruptions and truck shipment delays. Fuel and food shortages in some areas are likely to continue and may worsen while the protests persist. Transport disruptions are probable, especially on inter-city roads.

Volaris Costa Rica (Q6) airline, a subsidiary of Mexican airline, Volaris (Y4), which operates out of Central America, Mexico, and the US, announced the temporary suspension of flights to and from Managua's Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) from July 1, amid the country's political crisis. Other international carriers could cancel additional flights to MGA if the security environment further deteriorates. 

Background and Analysis
Activists and opposition groups continue to demand that President Daniel Ortega respond to their June 7 proposal to democratize the country. Ortega's opponents are also demanding that the scheduled 2021 elections be brought forward to March 2019. Pressure on Ortega to resign and call for early elections will probably increase, although it is unclear whether he will concede or consider a negotiated exit. The Civic Alliance has likely taken advantage of the presence of Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in the country to mobilize its supporters on the streets. The IACHR launched its Special Monitoring Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) June 24 to follow up on recommendations made in a preliminary IACHR report on its findings on human rights violations in the country. Nonetheless, the threat of deadly violence remains elevated at all gatherings in the country.

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (CENDIH) verified 212 deaths as of June 24, while the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights (ANPDH) has reported at least 285 deaths, with a further 1,500 people wounded and 156 missing since the protests began mid-April. Most of the deaths occurred in Managua and Masaya departments. Although the government has been accused of a violent crackdown on opposition protesters, human rights organizations have indicated that pro-government armed civilians are leading the violence against the demonstrators. 

Advice
Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross any roadblocks; use alternative routes to bypass affected areas. Do not wait for police to clear roadways, as violence has been common when security personnel try to disperse protesters. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Confirm flights. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.


Update 8: 6/20/2018
Violent protests, roadblocks likely to continue in Nicaragua through June following collapse of talks June 18. Avoid all protests.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Event: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Clashes; transport disruptions; possible food and fuel shortages

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary

Violent protests in Nicaragua are likely to persist following the collapse of the national dialogue June 18. The worst violence has been reported in the city of Masaya, where at least six people have been killed since the collapse of the peace talks. On June 18, residents barricaded the city and stated their intention to self-govern Masaya after rejecting the authority of President Daniel Ortega, prompting an operation by Nicaragua's military to remove the barricades and regain control of the city.

Additional protests are likely in urban areas such as Chinandega, Jinotega, Managua, Masaya, Mulukuku, and Sebaco. Expect heightened police presence, road closures, and associated traffic disruptions near all protest sites. In the capital, the campuses of Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), Universidad Politecnica de Nicaragua (UNIPOLI), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN), and Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI), have become flash-points for protests. Violence is likely near any significant demonstrations and around major highways. Clashes involving armed pro-government civilians are also possible at any anti-government demonstrations that may materialize.

Anti-government protesters have built 126 roadblocks nationwide and maintained them for several weeks. The blockades have resulted in severe ground transport disruptions and truck shipment delays. The Nicaraguan Association of Carriers (ATN) announced that, as of June 19, between 400 and 500 trucks remain stranded on roads across the country, especially along the Pan-American South Highway. Roadblocks have prevented the passage of trucks, especially from Granada and Jinotepe. Residents in the cities of Carazo, Esteli, Rivas, and Siuna have also reported fuel shortages due to the ongoing ground transport disruptions. Fuel and food shortages are likely to continue and may worsen while the protests persist. Transport disruptions are probable, especially on intercity roads.

American Airlines (AA) and Copa Airlines (CM) previously temporarily suspended flights from Miami International Airport (MIA) and Panama City's Tocumen International Airport (PTY) respectively to Managua's Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) in mid-June. Although all commercial flights have resumed, carriers could cancel additional flights to MGA if the security environment further deteriorates.

Background and Analysis

According to various reporting agencies, more than 180 people have been killed in the protests since April and more than 1,000 others have been injured. Although the government has been accused of a violent crackdown on opposition protesters, human rights organizations have indicated that pro-government armed civilians are leading the violence against the demonstrators.

Advice

Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross any roadblocks; use alternative routes to bypass affected areas. Do not wait for police to clear roadways, as violence has been common when security personnel try to disperse protesters. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Confirm flights. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.


Update 7: 6/11/2018
Violent protests, roadblocks likely to continue in Nicaragua through June, following deadly clashes June 8-11. Avoid all protests.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Event: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Clashes; transport disruptions; possible food and fuel shortages

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary
Violent protests in Nicaragua are likely to continue through at least the end of June. Anti-government protesters have built 126 roadblocks nationwide as of June 11. Activists have increased their protest activities after clashing with police and government supporters June 8-10; at least five people died in the violence. The recent unrest primarily occurred in the cities of Chinandega, Jinotega, Managua, Masaya, Mulukuku, and Sebaco. Protesters said that armed government supporters have started to attack roadblocks in major cities. Human rights organizations have confirmed that 139 people were killed between April 18 - when the protests began - and June 10. 

American Airlines (AA) temporarily suspended evening flights from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Managua's Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) through at least June 13. Copa Airlines (CM) has also canceled its evening flight from Panama City's Tocumen International Airport (PTY) to MGA through at least June 12. Carriers could cancel additional flights to MGA over the coming days. 

Leaders of the Nicaraguan Association of Carriers (Asociacion de Transportistas de Nicaragua, ATN) announced a suspension of all national and international ground shipping June 11, due to the ongoing transport disruptions. On June 8, trucking representatives from other Central American countries said at least 4,000 foreign-owned trucks were stranded inside Nicaragua; they asked for a 48-hour truce to allow the vehicles to leave the country. While most demonstrators did not agree to the truce, protesters allowed cargo trucks to transit in some areas. Residents in the cities of Carazo, Esteli, Rivas, and Siuna have reported severe fuel shortages due to the ongoing ground transport disruptions. Fuel and food shortages are likely to continue and may worsen while the protests persist. 

Student and civil society organizations in Leon Department plan to hold a 24-hour general strike, starting 1200 June 12. The walkout is likely to cause major business disruptions in the department June 12-13. Clashes are likely between demonstrators and police as well as with government supporters. 

Clashes are very likely near protests and roadblocks nationwide, especially in the cities of Masaya and Jinotega, and around the Managua campuses of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua, UNAN), and the Polytechnic University (Universidad Politecnica, UNIPOLI). Transport disruptions are probable, especially on intercity roads.

Background and Analysis
The current crisis in Nicaragua has no apparent end in sight. The Conference of Catholic Bishops - who have served as mediators in a national dialogue between the government and student, business, and civil society organizations - presented a plan with several political reforms to President Daniel Ortega June 7. Ortega requested 48 hours to analyze it and respond; however, as of June 11, he has not done so. Demands for early elections and other political reforms that could threaten Ortega's control over the country led to a collapse of the negotiations May 23. The bishops have tried to restart the dialogue, but further violence on the streets has halted those attempts. Protesters and human rights organizations have denounced armed government supporters for frequently attacking marches and roadblocks. Reports suggest anti-government demonstrators are commonly using improvised weapons known as "morteros" to repel security officials and government supporters. 

Advice
Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross any roadblocks; use alternative routes to bypass affected areas. Do not wait for police to clear roadways, as violence has been common when security personnel try to disperse protesters. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. Seek updated information on road and destination security conditions before attempting movements. Confirm flights.


Update 6: 6/4/2018
Roadblocks, violence likely to continue in Nicaragua through at least June 15, following deadly clashes June 3-4.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Event: Violent protests
  • Location: Nationwide 
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport disruptions, including roadblocks; probable clashes

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary

Clashes and roadblocks are likely to continue in Nicaragua through at least June 15, following the killing of five people in the city of Masaya, June 3-4. The Nicaraguan Association for the Protection of Human Rights (ANPDH) alleges at least one of the victims was shot by a sniper. Masaya's Chief of Police said one of those killed was a police officer. As of June 4, anti-government protesters maintain roadblocks in at least 10 of the country's 17 provinces and autonomous regions. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reports that, as of June 4, 127 people have been killed in violent protests in Nicaragua since April 18. The US Embassy in Managua confirmed June 2 that an American citizen was killed at a protest the previous day.

Expect unannounced protests and roadblocks around the country over the coming days. In Managua, demonstrations and clashes are likely around the campuses of Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), Universidad Politecnica de Nicaragua (UNIPOLI), Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN) and Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI); roadblocks are common on Pista Juan Pablo II, Paseo Ruben Dario, and along the Pan-American Highway leading to Augusto Sandino International Airport (MGA). Violence is likely to occur near any significant demonstrations and around major highways. Transport and business disruptions are probable near any protest locations.

Background and Analysis
Violence in Nicaragua has significantly increased since May 30. The five reported killings in Masaya, June 3-4, follow 15 deaths on a national day of protest May 30. The Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated that the national dialogue, which was suspended May 23, cannot restart while security officers and government supporters continue to attack demonstrators. While student, business, and civil society organizations have demanded early elections in the country, the Ortega administration has flatly rejected such a possibility. Several anti-government groups have called for a national strike, although there is still no confirmation that such a labor action will happen. 

Advice
Avoid all protests. Confirm flights. Do not attempt to cross roadblocks - wait for police to clear them. Follow the instructions of the authorities. If violence occurs nearby, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. If operating in an affected region, seek updated information on road and security conditions from trusted local sources before conducting ground movements.


Update 5: 5/31/2018
Violent protests likely to increase in Nicaragua at least through early June, following deadly clashes May 30. Avoid all protests.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Incident: Protests
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport disruptions, including roadblocks; probable clashes

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 


Summary
Violent protests are likely to increase in Nicaragua through early June, following the deaths of at least 13 people at opposition protests May 30. Talks between the government and protesters remain broken down. The Conference of Catholic Bishops, which had been mediating a national dialogue process, said that negotiations could not restart while protesters are being violently attacked at demonstrations. The Nicaraguan Human Rights Center (Centro Nicaraguense de Derechos Humanos, Cenidh) reported eight people died at a march in Managua, four people were killed at a protest in Esteli, and another person died at a demonstration in Masaya on May 30.

Expect unannounced protests and roadblocks around the country over the coming days. In Managua, demonstrations and clashes are likely around the campuses of Universidad Centroamericana, UNIPOLI, and UNI; roadblocks are common in Pista Juan Pablo II, Paseo Ruben Dario, and along the Panamerican Highway leading to Augusto Sandino International Airport (MGA). Protests are also probable in the cities of Esteli, Masaya, and Matagalpa. Violence is likely to occur near any significant demonstration and around major highways. Transport and business disruptions are probable near any protest location.

Background and Analysis
The violence on May 30 was the worst since the crisis began in mid-April, and it has led to a rapid erosion of support for the government and the dialogue process. Members of the Superior Counsel of Private Businesses (COSEP), the Private Banks Association (ASOBANP), the American Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), and the Nicaraguan Foundation for Economic and Social Development (Funides) jointly sent an open letter on May 30 to President Daniel Ortega calling for early elections and new members of the Electoral Council. Shortly thereafter, despite having previously made some conciliatory moves and having enjoyed friendly relations with the business community, Ortega was defiant in his first public appearance since May 16, criticizing opponents, especially business leaders, for their call for early elections. 

The Conference of Catholic Bishops had called for a resumption of the dialogue on May 28, but talks are unlikely to begin anew under the current political climate. According to a preliminary report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and a report by Amnesty International (AI) May 29, pro-government armed civilians are leading the violence against the demonstrators. Pressure on Ortega's government to call for early elections will increase, although it is unclear whether he will concede. After losing the support of business leaders and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, Ortega's continuity depends largely on the continued loyalty of his police and military forces. 

Advice
Avoid all protests. Confirm flights. Do not attempt to cross roadblocks; wait for police to clear them. Follow the instructions of the authorities. If violence occurs nearby, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. If operating in an affected region, seek updated information on road and security conditions from trusted local sources before conducting ground movements.


Update 4: 5/29/2018
Protests, roadblocks likely to persist in Nicaragua despite May 28 agreement to resume national dialogue. Violence probable.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Incident: Protests, roadblocks
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport disruptions; probable clashes

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary
Protests are likely to persist in Nicaragua despite an agreement on May 28, by a mixed commission comprised of government officials and civil society representatives, to resume the national dialogue. The decision was made during a meeting mediated by officials from the country's Conference of Catholic Bishops (Conferencia Episcopal de Nicaragua, CEN); however, the CEN has yet to announce the date on which negotiations will resume. 

Earlier on May 28, clashes between opposing armed groups occurred at the National University of Engineering (UNI) in Managua, after student protesters took control of the UNI. The offices of the pro-government Radio Ya station in Managua, as well as the Public Prosecutors offices in Masaya were set alight during related unrest. At least two people are said to have died during the protests May 28. In response to the violence at the UNI, farmers called for the reinstatement of roadblocks across the country.

A group of mothers of individuals who have been killed in the protests are calling for a large rally at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua at 1400 May 30. Demonstrations denouncing the violence may materialize elsewhere in the country.

The US Embassy in Managua is due to be closed May 29 due to anticipated demonstrations and traffic disruptions.

Background and Analysis
Talks were suspended May 23 after the government refused to discuss the agenda proposed by the CEN and the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy - an organization made up of college students and professors, business leaders, farmers, and civil society representatives. The government's main issues included electoral reforms and the advancement of the 2021 election. Despite the agreement to resume the national dialogue and for the issue of democracy to be addressed, President Daniel Ortega has yet to commit to any reforms that risk reducing his grip on the country's politics. As such, there is an elevated threat of civil unrest in Nicaragua until the government makes meaningful concessions. Protesters are likely to continue to erect roadblocks as a means of putting pressure on the Ortega administration. 

According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights' (IACHR)'s preliminary report, 76 people have been killed in protests, 800 injured, and 450 arrested. The government accepted the IACHR's recommendations, but protesters continue to report acts of violence by police officers and government supporters.

Advice
Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross roadblocks; wait for police to clear them. Follow the instructions of the authorities. If violence occurs nearby, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. If operating in an affected region, seek updated information on road and security conditions from trusted local sources before conducting ground movements


Update 3: 5/24/2018
Protests likely to escalate in Nicaragua following May 23 suspension of talks. Heightened security, violence probable.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Incident: Protests, roadblocks
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport disruptions; possible clashes

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary
Protests will likely continue indefinitely and potentially escalate across Nicaragua after talks between government officials and representatives of numerous civil society groups collapsed May 23. Church officials from the country's Conference of Catholic Bishops (Conferencia Episcopal de Nicaragua, CEN), which was mediating the negotiations, announced that the dialogue had been suspended; it remains unclear whether the CEN will be successful in reviving the talks. The government insists that protesters around the country dismantle roadblocks as a prerequisite to discussions about reforms.

In response to the news that talks had failed, a group of mothers of individuals who have been killed in the protests are calling for a large rally at the Universidad Centroamericana in Managua at 1400 May 30. New demonstrations - in some cases turning violent - have already begun in a number of locations. Hundreds of protesters gathered May 24 at Jean Paul Genie roundabout in Managua; also, at least one person was killed and 25 others injured in clashes between protesters and government supporters in the city of Leon on May 23. 

As of May 24, demonstrators maintained roadblocks in at least nine of Nicaragua's 15 departments; such actions will likely continue along major highways for several days. Additional unannounced protests and violent clashes are likely, especially in the cities of Managua, Leon, and Masaya. Expect heightened security around government buildings, universities, and other potential protest locations. 

Background and Analysis
President Daniel Ortega initially seemed to be open to certain concessions, accepting participation in the national dialogue sessions and a visit by members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). However, he has not committed to any reforms that risk-reducing his grip on the country's politics. The Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy - an organization made up of college students and professors, business leaders, farmers, and civil society representatives - is demanding a number of political reforms, including early presidential elections and a constitutional amendment imposing presidential term limits. Protesters, meanwhile, refuse to dismantle roadblocks, arguing that they are their only way to put pressure on the administration. 

According to the IACHR's preliminary report, 76 people have been killed in protests, 800 injured, and 450 arrested. The government accepted the IACHR's recommendations, but protesters continue to report acts of violence by police officers and government supporters. 

Advice
Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross roadblocks; wait for police to clear them. Follow the instructions of the authorities. If violence occurs nearby, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental building. If operating in an affected region, seek updated information on road and security conditions from trusted local sources before conducting ground movements.


Update 2: 5/22/2018 
Protest leaders refuse to dismantle roadblocks throughout Nicaragua as of May 21. Transport disruptions likely; clashes possible.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Incident: Protests, roadblocks
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport disruptions; possible clashes

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 
 

Summary
Anti-government protest groups said on May 21 that they would not remove roadblocks set up throughout the country, demanding instead that the government call for early elections to replace President Daniel Ortega. Some of these groups also threatened to launch a general strike if their demands are not met, though no time frame was specified. The announcement was issued during a round of formal talks between protest leaders and government representatives that was mediated by the Catholic Church.

Protest leaders indicate that at least 16 roadblocks are in place along major roads nationwide, including in the Chontales, Rivas, Boaco, and Managua departments, as of May 21. According to press accounts, protesters in several locations are only allowing a limited number of vehicles to pass every three hours. Demonstrations and roadblocks are likely to persist until at least the next dialogue session May 23, when protest leaders said they would reconsider their ongoing actions. Expect significant transport disruptions and potential clashes between protesters and security forces.

Background and Analysis
The announcement came just two days after a May 19 incident that threw the future of the mediation process into doubt. During the incident, demonstrating students of the National Agrarian University (Universidad Agraria Nacional) were injured when, according to protest leaders, shots were fired at them from a passing police vehicle. The police denied the allegation. Nevertheless, many protesters said that the incident prematurely ended a truce agreed to between the government and opposition just hours earlier.

The announcement also came as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which is currently in Nicaragua investigating deaths during protests in April and May, released a preliminary summary of its findings thus far. The IACHR cited evidence that the security forces used excessive deadly force and torture against protesters and that public hospitals refused to provide treatment to those it suspected were injured while participating in the demonstrations. The IACHR preliminary report also found that the government did not properly investigate the deaths of protesters or determine their cause of death and that it forced several media outlets off the air so as to minimize coverage of the demonstrations.

While some of the IACHR's allegations were aimed at the military, which had been called out to the streets to put down the protests, a spokesman for the National Army announced on May 13 that the military will no longer intervene against protesters. This development could point toward widening fissures between the military and the civilian government.

Advice
Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross roadblocks; wait for police to clear them. Follow the instructions of the authorities without debate or delay. If violence occurs nearby, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental location. If operating in an affected region, seek updated information on road and security conditions from trusted local sources before conducting ground movements.


Update 1: 5/14/2018
Protesters block roads, continue demonstrations in Nicaragua May 14. Transport disruptions likely; clashes possible.

Locations affected by this alert: Nicaragua

  • Event: Protests, roadblocks
  • Location: Nationwide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport disruptions; possible clashes

Click the map above for an interactive map to see the impacted areas and where protests might be expected. 

Summary
On May 14, protesters in towns throughout Nicaragua reestablished roadblocks as demonstrations against the government have reignited. In Managua, teachers at Universidad Centroamericana and students at American College plan to gather outside their institutions in solidarity with the nationwide protests. Demonstrators in Camoapa launched a general strike. 

Unannounced protests and roadblocks are likely for at least the next several days. Expect related transport disruptions and potential clashes between protesters and security forces.

Background and Analysis
Protests rekindled on May 12 throughout Nicaragua, particularly in the city of Masaya. Nationwide demonstrations against President Daniel Ortega's administration began April 18, initially focused on a reform of the country's social security policies; many protesters are now demanding Ortega's resignation, as well as political reforms and free elections. The government announced May 14 that it will accept a visit from members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in order to investigate alleged human rights abuses. At least 54 people have been killed since the protest movement began. The Nicaraguan Conference of Catholic Bishops has accepted an offer to mediate, but no date for talks has been set. The spokesperson for the National Army announced on May 13 that the military will not intervene against the protesters, who have been battling the national police and Ortega supporters. 

Advice
Avoid all protests. Do not attempt to cross roadblocks; wait for police to clear them. Follow the instructions of the authorities without debate or delay. If violence occurs nearby, leave the area immediately and seek shelter in a secure, nongovernmental location. If operating in an affected region, seek updated information on road and security conditions from trusted local sources before conducting ground movements.