Help peaceful protests in Nicaragua

$22,475 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 275 people in 5 months
Funds from this gofundme will go towards purchasing food, water, and medical supplies for peaceful protesters in Nicaragua. Additionally, given that protests have led to the deaths of at least 59 people, gofundme campaign organizers suporting victims' families with some cash to pay a portion of funeral costs.

Tuesday, May 8 is the 21st consecutive day during which university students and other peaceful protesters are excercising their democratic and constitutional right to protest the government's disregard for basic rights, including freedom of speech. Protests began on April 18th over a reform to the Social Security System, but protesters were violently repressed by the government (using anti-insurgence forces consisting of pro-government civilian groups known as the Sandinista Youth and the National Police) so harshly that by day 5 there were reports of over 30 dead, a number that keeps growing as the many injured lose their battle over the following days. By the 21st day, reports of the death toll reached the 59th confirmed death. The protests are no longer (and haven’t been since day 3) about the social security reform. Protesters are desperately clamoring for a fundamental democratic change in the country.

Protesters are self-funded and need funds urgently to continue protesting peacefully. This campaign seeks $15,000 to assist protesters with funds that they require to continue protesting.

In the interest of transparency, I am a United States citizen currently residing in the US who has many close friends, and individuals I consider to be family, living and working in Nicaragua. The individuals I am raising funds for are a group of Nicaraguan citizens preocupied for the current political situation and government repression to basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech, as well as the future of the country that they love so much. They are mobilizing these funds on the ground to support peaceful protesters with basic supplies to ensure that their health and their lives are not put in danger. Additionally, they are supporting the families of some of the victims with funds to pay a portion of funeral costs, each of which has a cost of approximately US$450. The majority of families do not have the economic conditions to absorb such an unexpected shock to their income. US$450 is almost twice Nicaraguan minimum wage. Under no circumstances will funds be spent on weapons or objects that can be used to induce violence. Funds support peaceful protests, exclusively. Once funds are withdrawn from this campaign, they will be sent to the group of individuals I am cooperating with who are leading efforts on the ground in the form of remittances. In order to limit transaction costs (funds are subject to an approximately 1.2% fee by international remittance providers), there is a possibility that funds will be delivered personally should circumstances permit.

Funds support exclusively peaceful demonstrations, in accordance with recent pronouncements from the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Organization of American States.

Protests began due to government reforms applying a 5% tax to old-age and disability pensions and increasing contributions paid by employees and employers. This is considered just another unjust action by a government that has been accused of using the National Social Security Institute (INSS) as a source of “petty cash,” leaving many feeling that pensioners and workers are now being forced to pay for government fund mismanagement.

The government has responded to protests with violent counter-marches and positioning members of the Sandinista Youth and riot police to intimidate peaceful protesters on highways and universities in the capital of Managua. So far, at least 59people have been confirmed dead, with little sign that the government will permit students and other protesters to take to the streets peacefully. In one episode, the Sandinista Youth cornered peaceful student protesters in the Cathedral of Managua, where they continued violent physical aggression. The government has also taken five independent television networks off the air after they broadcast demonstrations live. In some parts of the country, electricity service has been suspended in an effort to make it difficult for protesters to continue.

Protests come following demonstrations beginning in April 2018 against government inaction and alleged collusion in relation to fires in the Indio Maíz biological reserve on the Caribbean coast region. Recent years have also been plagued by alleged electoral fraud, which has allowed President Ortega to control the country’s legislative branch and make controversial constitutional changes, including his own ability to serve more than two terms as president. He has succeeded in consolidating control over all branches of government. Reforms to laws regulating the army and national police have also brought those institutions into line behind him.

Please help support peaceful protests in Nicaragua. We need your help! ¡Qué viva Nicaragua!
Five people die as anti-government protests spread across Nicaragua (The Guardian)
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Greetings gofundme supporters,

First and foremost, thank you for your continued support for peaceful protests against the repressive Ortega/Murillo regime. We continue to mobilize all funds donated through this gofundme campaign.

Please know that all support that has been provided alongside funds raised through this gofundme have been made by volunteers that have anonymously donated their time and effort to support the different activities carried out.

For the sake of transparency, we share with you how the latest batch of funds has been spent. Funds have been allocated to the following activities:

1. Citizen Mobilization
Logistics: March of Flowers

Sound: 2 mobile sound units were guaranteed for use during the march
Stage: installation of stage and sound for the act of closing and concert
Medical brigades: supply of 3 medical units with periodical reposition of material.

2. Medical Supplies
Supply of complete medical kits for care for injured in Rivas and Masaya

3. Support for relatives of the deceased
Purchase of:
(1) coffin for young man murdered in the Dimitrov neighborhood on July 3
(2) Coffins for murdered in Subtiava on July 5

4. Support for the wounded
Transfer of serious injuries from the departments to Managua (fuel and payment of ambulances)
Purchase colostomy bags for 2 survivors
Purchase of orthopedic parts for 8 patients operated on in public hospitals
Medicines and medical examinations
Antiescara mattress

5. Food
We guarantee three meal times for relatives of 15 patients in 3 hospitals, hospitalized for more than 30 days.

Our team apologizes for not having been able to post updates recently. At the same time, we continue to work in continuous support of peaceful protests and thank all those who have donated their money in a small token of support of the people of Nicaragua. Please continue to support protests, and, should anyone have questions or concerns regarding how funds are being spent, please send me a message. Thank you.
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Additional photos from the previous update. . .
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Here’s a quick update about how’ve been allocating the funds you have so selflessly donated:

Logistics and humanitarian support have been directed to the people in Masaya and Granada, who have received vicious attacks in the past week. The city of Masaya has been basically cut off from the rest of the country due to the Masaya people blocking off all access roads into and out of the city in order to stop the attacks from anti-riot police and paramilitaries. It has been successful, although the economic cost has been high, since it means stores such as supermarkets and pharmacies have not been replenished. So funds have been dedicated to supporting those guarding the blockades and thus securing the city.

Medical expenses for check-ups and follow ups of injured have been covered by your donations. Since our last update your donations have helped three injured protesters which have been taken to Hospital Bautista in Managua, and two young people who needed eye surgery. Follow up treatment for these two victims will also be covered with your funds. Other expenses covered: funeral costs (purchase of coffins) for three other people that died in attacks. The coffins were delivered to Ticuantepe, Managua and Sébaco.

Your donations have also helped to properly set up medical posts in some of the blockades that didn’t have a adequate installations or sufficient supplies.

We also want to update you on the general situation in the country in the past few days.

The Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference (CEN), who were the mediators in the National Dialogue, requested a meeting with the president last Thursday June 7th, covering topics regarding repression, the mudering of innocent civilians, and the democratization of the country. The President asked for 48hr to think about it. As if today he is yet to reply.

Protester-led blockades are popping up all over the country. Most main roads into any mayor city have been blocked, with traffic being let thru at 1 or 2 hour intervals. New barricades are popping up in smaller neighborhoods, not only as a form of protest, but also for their own protection, since violence and crime are on the increase and random drive-by shootings have turned into a common occurrence.

Repression and violence coming from the police and paramilitary groups doesn’t seem to be stoping. And although the government hasn’t given an official response after their meeting with the CEN, there seems to be an implied answer with how they keep up their attempts to dissipate protests by having the police and their paramilitary groups run rampant intimidating and shooting at people in plain sight. The government seems determined to dismantle blockades by any means it seems necessary, including commiting random murders .

Nicaraguans aren’t discouraged though, they are to be determined to rid their country of the dictatorship it’s been living under for far too long. Hope and help like the one you give through this campaign keeps them going and gives them the strength they need to reach for a better future and feel that it is within their grasp.

Thank you for your continued support.
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Hello gofundme campaign supporters,

We want to update you on what’s been happening in Nicaragua since our last update.

Last time, we told you about a planned march that would take place on May 30th, which is when Mother’s day is celebrated each year in Nicaragua. This was expected to be a massive event, given that rather than a happy Mother’s Day celebration, we were to march in support of almost 90 mothers (by that point) that had lost a child in the context of the protests since April. And indeed, over half a million people came out to the streets and joined in what’s been up to this point the largest march yet.

The march started out well at 2pm, with almost 90 victims' mothers leading the way. A little after 4:30pm people at the front of the march where reaching the end point next to the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA). At around 4:45pm, rumors began spreading to marchers following those that had already arrived at the UCA that those that were already at the UCA were being attacked and shot at. A peaceful protest was once again being attacked. Among protesters were kids, seniors, students, women, and men of all ages, professions, and social statuses. The braver ones ran to the front line to pressure attackers to retreat so that people at the march could get to safety. Several young people, who were marching along their own mothers were the first to receive shots to the head. One of them was murdered right in front of his mother. It was a massacre--there’s no other way to put it.

Since May 30th, a wave of terror and chaos has taken over the streets of Managua. There is a self-imposed curfew among civilians, because after 6pm armed individuals riding in the back of pickup trucks and motorcycles start driving around, shooting, robbing and looting. They want to instill a sense of panic so that protesters are afraid of protesting in the streets.

In Masaya, things have gotten specially rough. This city that has received some of the worst attacks since it all began. It’s a small town that has banded together and fought to defend themselves as best as they can. They’ve managed to organize themselves by blocks and neighborhoods to better defend themselves, barricading most streets and access to city limits, but there are so many ways to get into the city that they still haven’t managed to completely stop police and paramilitary groups from entering. They withstood an almost non-stop attack for over 72 hours, and they are not giving up yet. They need help with pretty much everything you can think off. We’ve managed to make several trips to Masaya to drop off assistance, and much more is still be needed.

Granada, a city that had managed to evade serious attacks thus far, was under fire from riot police yesterday. Two young boys (15 and 14 years old) were shot at and killed. Estelí, a city at the northern border of Nicaragua, also received a wave of attacks last night. The violence against protesters doesn’t seem to be stopping, the government is not letting up, and the police and paramilitary groups keep shooting at anyone daring to protest.

We are still helping every way possible. We have a great network of people risking their lives by bringing supplies where they are most needed. Sadly, we’ve had to help even more families with funeral costs for the loved ones they've lost in fights. We’re managing to bring food, water, and medical supplies/medicine with the help of donations from this GoFundMe campaign and independent direct donations of the aforementioned items. The Nicaraguan people need support to keep fighting the good fight and to keep standing up for their constitutional and human rights. They can’t do it alone, they need people like you, willing to give anything that you can to keep them going for as long as they need to.

Thank you again for your support. Qué viva Nicaragua!
Team unloading supplies for protesters
Food purchased for protesters
Medical supplies for protesters
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$22,475 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 275 people in 5 months
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