Three killed in Nicaragua pension protests

Angel Gahona filming in Bluefields Nicaragua before he was shot.   Ileana Lacayo Ortíz  Facebook

Angel Gahona filming in Bluefields Nicaragua before he was shot. Ileana Lacayo Ortíz Facebook

The violence began Wednesday in the capital of Managua when protesters took to the streets setting fires and throwing rocks as police responded with tear gas, according to the CNN report.

Protesters in the small Central American country oppose reforms to the nation's pension system, under which workers and employers would have to pay in more.

Still, top Nicaraguan private sector lobby COSEP issued a statement afterwards saying it could not enter into talks until the government put a stop to police repression, released people who had been detained for protesting peacefully and re-established unrestricted freedom of speech.

They were joined the next day by thousands of students and workers in cities across Nicaragua. Among the dead are two protesters and a policeman killed in Managua on Friday.

Nicaraguans are protesting a new Social Security law passed by President Daniel Ortega's government.

Vice-President Rosario Murillo blamed the violence on "vampires", but said the government was open to dialogue.

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She compared the protesters to "vampires demanding blood to feed their political agenda".

Students from Polytechnic University (UPOLI) have been holed up on their campus since Thursday evading police.

Protesters accused police of instigating violence and stations were taken off air after live broadcasts.

A spokeswoman for the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, Liz Throssell, urged the government to prevent further attacks on demonstrators and the media.

She also noted that demonstrators were "attacked" by government supporters in the city of Masaya.

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