May 28, 2018

Reconsider Travel to Nicaragua

Currently, Nicaragua is at a Level 3 with the U.S. Department of State. Meaning for all U.S. Citizens to reconsider travel to Nicaragua due to crime and civil unrest.

Protests have been occurring throughout the country since April 18, 2018. They have led to violent clashes and caused casualties. The protests began after Ortega announced a rise in social security taxes and a reduction in services in mid-April. In the wake of the violent response, the protests have broadened into a general demand that Ortega and Murillo leave office. Demonstrators have also voiced frustrations over corruption, the autocratic style of Ortega and Murillo, limited options to change the country’s politics in elections, and the president’s control over Congress, the courts, the military and the electoral authority.

According to humanitarian groups, police, and relatives of victims, 84 people have been killed since protests began, while more than 860 have been wounded.

In most recent reports, a Nicaraguan government employee was killed and three other people injured over the weekend, officials said Sunday. The deceased, one Jorge Gaston, died in hospital after being shot Friday.

The Nicaraguan government began a dialogue with students and other opposition groups last week over the political turmoil. However, the church-mediated talks aimed at quelling the violence have stalled, but the Nicaraguan Bishops’ Conference called on Sunday for both sides to attend a session on Monday aimed at reviving the dialogue.

U.S. Government personnel in Nicaragua continue to be advised to remain in their homes and avoid unnecessary travel, and when commuting to and from work are advised to avoid Rotonda Universitaria, the vicinity of all universities, and a growing area near UNAN based on ever-expanding roadblocks and concerns of violence.

Recent days’ events have shown that locations, routes, times, sizes, and possible violence at demonstrations are all unpredictable. The U.S. Embassy is also aware of roadblocks causing difficult access to and from Matagalpa, Granada, Leon, and other locations around the country, as well as transportation difficulties within Managua. The Embassy has limited resources to assist U.S. citizens affected by these circumstances.

If you should have any questions or concerns or wish to request an update on a given situation in a foreign country do not hesitate to contact the following:

Rick Phillips                                                                         Cody Cobb                                                                                                                            (706) 886-9929 = direct                                               (706) 225-2526 = direct                                                                                           (706) 491-9888 = mobile                                              (706) 491-5138 = mobile