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Benjamin Holmes @BenHolmesWriter
, 9 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Today I witnessed intense clashes prompted by police attacks against a peaceful march of tens of thousands for the #MadresDeAbril. The march was intended to honor the mothers who have lost children during the protests that began April 18th and have resulted in up to 90 deaths.
The mood was festive with families and children gathered. Someone climbed the giant flagpole at the rotunda and managed to bring the flag down to half mast. Everything seemed calm until shots rang out and panic swept the crowds.
I witnessed at least one gunshot victim being rushed away from the scene and heard of multiple others at other locations where the march was attacked. I am told that some of those who were shotndid not survive.
The aftermath led to intense clashes between #SOSNicaragua protesters armed with rocks, homemade fireworks, and molotovs against police armed with automatic weapons. I stayed as long as I could, but eventually fled to safety. The video is posted at @N2Sreports.
Once I was sure I was safely away from the clashes, I called my driver to arrange for a ride back to my hotel. We agreed to meet at a gas station close by. It was well lit, peaceful, and there were some EMS and firefighters hanging out there.
Just as I got into my driver's car, a national police truck pulled up across the street. Flashbang grenades were thrown at the handful of people hanging out waiting for rides. A saw shotgun blasts as well, though I can't confirm if it was crowd control or live ammo.
We ducked down low as my driver put the pedal to the floor and was raced away. I just managed to see those outside of our vehicle dropping to the ground behind anything they could find for cover.
I don't know what happened at that gas station. I do hope for the best for the people that were less fortunate than us. What I do know is that the attack was entirely unprovoked. Indeed, I cannot fathom what logic could have prompted such an attack.
I don't pretend to understand all of the nuance of what is going on right now in Nicaragua. I am learning, but I have a wsys to got yet. But I do know that there is nothing in my mind that can justify these flagrant attacks. Such attacks only escalate an already tense situation.
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