Nicaragua protests erode pillars of support for Ortega

Nicaragua protests erode pillars of support for OrtegaBy Delphine Schrank MANAGUA (Reuters) – A thuggish response to weeks of protests has eroded carefully constructed pillars of support in the Church, military and business world for Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, emboldening calls for the ouster of the former Marxist guerrilla who has dominated politics for decades. More than a month after changes to the Central American nation’s social security system triggered student-led protests, indignation at a brutal crackdown in which at least 77 people have been killed and over 800 wounded has morphed into a daily challenge to Ortega’s rule. Protesters demand he step down, while regional diplomatic body the Organization of American States said last week he should hold early elections.

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