Impact of violence in Nicaragua
News from Nicaragua | Monday, 4 June 2018 |
More than a month of violence in Nicaragua has tragically resulted in the deaths of over 100 people and left 868 injured. An essential part of the peace process is to ensure justice for their relatives and families and ensure that that those responsible for these deaths are held to account.
The violence has also had a dramatic impact on the economy. According to economist Nestor Avendaño losses to the economy have reached US$650million, equivalent to 4% of GDP. Sixty per cent of these losses are in the service sector (tourism, transport, communications, education, community and personal services); the other 40% has been in agriculture, industry and construction.
According to the Nicaraguan Central Bank up to 22 May, 58,300 jobs have been lost in business, tourism, transport and the free trade zones.
The majority of Nicaraguan population are self-employed in small and medium businesses and co-operatives such as farming, selling goods on the streets, driving taxis, running repair shops, driving taxis and buses, and eking out a living in whatever way they can. It is this sector of the economy that already live on the margins who are suffering most acutely as a consequence of the violence.
The burning and ransacking of the headquarters of the National Rural Bank on 31 May is but one example of destruction of public and private buildings by protesters, gangs and opportunistic looters all over the country. According to Ariel Bucardo, president of the National Council of Co-operatives, this will affect 40,000 members and clients of the Bank. The majority of them are small producers who have their savings in the Bank and who urgently need the finance to plant in their crops.
The only way to re-establish peace is through dialogue, calling to account and punishing those responsible for the deaths, and other mechanisms to strengthen democracy.