MEXICOCITY (Reuters) – Nicaraguan bishops met embattled president Daniel Ortega on Thursday, presenting a proposal for what they called “democratisation” of the country after weeks of protests that have killed at least 127 people.
The bishops, who called off talks they had brokered between Ortega’s government and civilian groups last week after particularly brutal violence on Nicaragua’s Mother’s Day, said the president’s reply to their proposal would determine whether they renewed the dialogue. They did not give further details.
“The dialogue with the president took place in an atmosphere of calm, frankness and sincerity, in which we presented to the president the nation’s pain and anguish amid the violence suffered in recent weeks,” the bishops said at a news conference.
The Central American country has been roiled for more than a month by violent protests against Ortega and his proposed changes to the social security system. The bishops have condemned the violence.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said this week 127 people have been killed since the demonstrations began in late April.
(Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Editing by Paul Tait)