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A protester holds an improvised mortar next to a graffiti repudiating the government of President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, April 25, 2018. EPA-EFE/Jorge Torres
A protester holds an improvised mortar next to a graffiti repudiating the government of President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, April 25, 2018. EPA-EFE/Jorge Torres

Nicaraguans seek to return to normal life after violent protests

At least 30 people were killed in the protests, 428 were injured and some 200 were arrested.

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Nicaraguans attempted to return to normal life Wednesday after 8 days of violent protests and after the government agreed to set up a national dialogue, which will be mediated by the Catholic Church.

Protests began after President Daniel Ortega proposed a social security reform that included a 0.75 percentage point increase in monthly worker contributions, a 3.5-point increase in employer's contributions and a 5 percent reduction in pensions in exchange for better health coverage.

According to figures compiled by authorities and independent observers, at least 30 people were killed in the violent protests, 428 were injured and some 200 were arrested.

On Wednesday, Managua municipal workers cleared road obstructions set up by protesters and started to carry out road repairs, allowing cars and public transport to start filling the streets once again.

Schools were reopened, although not all students returned to class, as some parents were still concerned that violence could return.

Shops also started opening again, having closed after looters ransacked some businesses during the previous days.

Although some protests continued on Tuesday, most of the violence stopped last weekend, after Ortega said he would be willing to participate in the dialogue proposed by the Cosep business federation.

The "self-organized" protesters, however, have insisted that they are not interested in the dialogue, that Cosep does not represent them and that their demand is for Ortega to resign.

The protests that emerged last Wednesday continued even after Ortega announced he was scrapping the controversial social security reform in a televised address on Sunday.

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