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How Nicaragua's Protests Could Spread Elsewhere in Central America

MIN READMay 17, 2018 | 08:00 GMT

Widespread protests in Nicaragua are challenging the foundations of President Daniel Ortega's government. If he falls, the demonstrations could ignite unrest in neighboring Honduras and Guatemala.

(RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2016, President Daniel Ortega won a crushing re-election in Nicaragua, capturing almost three-quarters of the vote. Just two years on, however, the fate of his government hangs in the balance amid a wave of protests that have resulted in the deaths of 53 people, mostly at the hands of the security services. Ortega's once-solid political support is cracking, because the army has ceased to provide unconditional support to the government and has advocated opening a dialogue with the demonstrators. Ultimately, what happens in Nicaragua may not stay in Nicaragua: If Ortega loses power, other unstable Central American countries -- such as Honduras and Guatemala -- could soon feel the wrath of their own dissidents....

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