The department of Chinandega has a population of 433,000 inhabitants, 62% urban and 38% rural, distributed into 13 municipalities. Here the protests and resistance took place between April and June 2018, when marches were organized, barricades were built and a roadblock was established on the main highway that connects with the border post of Guasaule.
The protests, marches and barricades were repressed at first by the police and pro-government groups, and later by combined forces with paramilitaries using the Municipal Government building and the FSLN’s municipal offices as command posts. The government also promoted land takeovers by paramilitaries.
April 24: more than 500 demonstrators congregated to oppose the repression. Ismael Isaías Pérez Martínez, born in Posoltega, was buried in that municipality, his body riddled with bullets (found later at La Subasta).
May 23, 23: Demonstrators from the San Agustín and Guadalupe neighborhoods maintained barricades and were shot at by police and pro-Ortega supporters who came to beat up, wound, kill and kidnap the independent protesters, who responded to the shootings with homemade mortars. The attack left more than 63 wounded and 39-year-old American-born Luis Ramón Cruz Alvarado dead from a bullet to the thorax.
May 30: Police, paramilitaries and pro-government supporters launched an attack on independent demonstrators that lasted hours, killing two:
- Juan Alejandro Zepeda Ortiz, alias El Gastón, an 18-year-old student.
- Ruddy Antonio Hernández Almendárez, 34 years old, a 3-wheel taxi driver.
June 6-7: New attack aimed at demolishing the barricades cost the life of another three young people:
- José Casco Berríos, 22 years old, a business administration major at UNAN-León.
- Marco Antonio Padilla, 18 years, old, a student, wounded in the thorax.
- Oniel López Vega, 22 years old, shot in the thorax and the front of his body.