Author: DRL; Curated
publication date: December 26, 2018
Just a year ago Nicaragua was seen as one of Latin America’s rising stars with an expanding tourist industry drawn to its beautiful beaches, lakes, volcanoes, and quaint colonial towns. Travel writers encouraged their readers to forget Costa Rica and sample Nicaragua’s “jungly landscape, peaceful waterways and scenic shores.” In 2016 travel and tourism constituted about 10% of Nicaragua’s economy and the World Travel and Tourism Council predicted strong growth in the sector.
That was before anti-government protests broke out in April over fiscal reforms that slashed social security. The demonstrations spread after police over-reacted, killing dozens of protesters. As the protests spread and intensified, Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega dug in and unleashed paramilitary forces on the opposition and hundreds have been killed. In recent weeks Ortega has cracked down on all dissent in the country, shutting down newspapers, expelling international human rights monitors, imprisoning political opponents and harassing NGOs that have criticized his administration.