Mothers of young Nicaraguans killed in protests denounce authorities

NICARAGUA PROTESTS | 15 de mayo de 2018

Managua, May 15 (efe-epa).- Mothers and relatives of some of the more than 50 young people killed over the last 28 days of social unrest in Nicaragua on Tuesday charged that the Attorney General's Office is hiding information from them about the cases and demanded transparency and independent judicial procedures.

Stationing themselves before the Public Ministry with a sign reading "Mothers of April Movement. No more murders! No more massacres! We demand Justice!" about 10 mothers vocally lobbied for justice for their dead children, shouting "They are not murders, they're assassinations."

Reading aloud the names of some of the victims they say were murdered by "the regime," the demonstrators reiterated their commitment to keep fighting so that impunity does not prevail for those who committed the crimes.

Francys Valdivia, the sister of one of those killed, announced that the group presented a written document to the AG's Office demanding information about the cases.

As they had done on May 5 in a missive directed to Attorney General Ana Julia Guido, on Tuesday the group delivered another letter in which the mothers of Franco Valdivia (Francisca del Machado) and Orlando Perez (Domitla del Socorro Corrales), both of whom were killed on April 20 in Esteli, asked for information about the deaths of their loved ones.

Francys, Franco's sister, said that "as relatives of the young people" they want to know the details of what happened on that day and what new evidence has turned up, as well as the results of the autopsies.

"Last week (the AG's Office) refused (to give us) information, forgetting what the mission and vision of the Public Ministry is," she said.

Convinced that the two young men were murdered in "cowardly" fashion," Francys said that the AG's Office on Tuesday had posted a sign on its door saying they were "not in" and she insisted that the Public Ministry must represent the victims, criticizing the department for not responding to their demands.

"We're demanding justice with transparency. We must be kept up to date with what procedures they're undertaking ... Why are they hiding? Why are they hiding that information, if we're a fundamental part of the process," she commented, adding that the relatives of the victims are committed to following through on the matter "all the way."

Between 54 and 65 people have been killed - depending on whose figures one uses - in massive demonstrations both for and against President Daniel Ortega over the past four weeks.

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