Author: Kirk Semple
Photography: Daniele Volpe for The New York Times
MANAGUA, Nicaragua — There is always a line outside the main passport office, often with several hundred people or more clutching documents and manila folders. It starts forming well before dawn. The demand is so great that it has bred a cottage industry of hustlers here in the capital who camp out on the sidewalk and sell places in line to the highest bidder.
It is one of many indications that something is gravely wrong here in Nicaragua.
With a violent political crisis that has ruined the economy and challenged President Daniel Ortega’s hold on power, people are fleeing the country in droves.