Protesters chase Sandinista magistrates from Bilwi

Tensions are running high in Bilwi
photo: Nicaragua Dispatch /archive

Tensions are running high in Bilwi

(posted May 7, 6:44 am) — With the help of Nicaraguan police, Sandinista electoral authorities fled an angry group of indigenous protesters in Bilwi, leaving two people seriously injured, according to local media reports.

Sandinista magistrate Emmett Lang bravely fought off a group of women as he and electoral president Roberto Rivas scampered into waiting pickup trucks and fled amid a hail of rocks and shouts from angry protesters. TV cameras from Canal 2 caught images of police officers kicking and swinging clubs at the indigenous protesters, who claim the Sandinista electoral authorities committed electoral fraud (their fourth consecutive, for those keeping score at home) in the regional elections held last March on the Caribbean coast.

According to the CSE, the Sandinistas won the majority of the 90 elected posts in the North and South Atlantic Autonomous Regions (RAAN and RAAS). Abstentionism was around 60%, it’s highest ever in a Nicaraguan election. The Sandinista-appointed winners were sworn into office on Sunday, amid protests and violent unrest on the streets outside.

The Yatama indigenous group, once allied with the Sandinista Front, claims the ruling party rigged the elections against them. Riot police have been deployed in Bilwi amid calls for continued protest.


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