AMERICA/NICARAGUA - Tension in the north of the country because of the violence of armed groups and police reprisals

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Mons. Carlos Enrique Herrera Gutierrez

Jinotega (Agenzia Fides) - After the attack by a group of armed people against a police patrol in the town of Santa Rosa in San Jose de Bocay, (Jinotega) which took place two days ago, now the calm in this community rural area appears at risk, as police and army reprisals are feared.
The note sent to Fides from a local source informs that the residents of Santa Rosa continue their work in an atmosphere of apparent normality, but the reality is very different. On the one hand there are the actions of armed groups in the area and on the other hand police and military reactions, which ultimately put pressure on farmers and producers to "cooperate". The burning of a police station, on February 25, in Las Golondrinas community, complicated things for the locals.
In this regard His Exc. Mgr. Carlos Enrique Herrera Gutierrez, OFM., Bishop of Jinotega, said that among the armed groups operating in the north of the country "there is some confusion" with regards to the reasons why they have taken up arms. "There are those who work to support drug trafficking - said Mgr. Herrera -, others say that they do it to force people not to accept the deficiencies of the government; and there are others who go around armed and dressed as army soldiers, saying they want to safeguard peace. So there are at least three large groups. It is clear - continues the Bishop – that for the army and police these armed groups have always been qualified as criminal gangs". The fear among the population is very strong, so much so that the school year has not yet begun in Ayapal. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 16/03/2016)