Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in the capital of Nicaragua demanding the resignation of President Daniel Ortega after days of demonstrations in which nearly 30 were killed.
The demonstrators marched in Managua on Monday evening, a day after Ortega backed down on controversial pension reforms that sparked the deadly protests.
Protests broke out on Wednesday, two days after the Nicaraguan government approved a resolution that would increase contributions by workers and employers into the Nicaraguan Institute for Social Security (INSS), while reducing payouts by five percent.
Police were criticised for their heavy-handed response to the protests, and accused of using live ammunition against demonstrators. Hundreds were injured, while dozens of shops in Managua were looted amid the unrest.
In a televised meeting on Sunday evening, Ortega cancelled the reforms. But people continued their protests which for many have now grown into demonstrations against Ortega himself, as well as last week’s crackdown.
On Monday police were kept back from demonstrators, who reportedly shouted “Murderers! Murderers!” and called for the release of the more than 100 protesters who had been arrested in the days prior.
The protests are the biggest since Ortega, 72, was re-elected in 2007.
The leftist leader is on his third consecutive term and has been accused of nepotism – his wife Rosario Murillo is the vice president – and for undermining democratic institutions to tighten his grip on power.