Nicaragua's rights situation gets international review

Washington (AFP) –


Anti-government protests in Nicaragua in which 87 people have been killed are to be investigated by two regional bodies, officials announced Wednesday.

The Organization of American States and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said they would investigate and report on the violent opposition to President Daniel Ortega.

The report, to be carried out by a panel of four independent experts, is expected in six months.

The human rights group said Nicaragua will guarantee security for the investigators as well as access to criminal files and buildings as required.

At least 87 people have been killed and almost 900 wounded since protests began on April 18 against Ortega and his Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) party.

The government and opposition agreed overnight Monday to resume peace talks mediated by the Catholic church that stalled amid fresh violence last week.

Amnesty's Americas director Erika Guevara-Rosas has told AFP that while repression had become the "common denominator" of the government's response to protests, "we had never documented such a violent and radicalized situation, with groups that are clearly in collusion with the state authorities."