For decades, the United States’ National Endowment for Democracy, or NED, has played a key role in shaping Nicaragua’s political arena. Today, NED grantees are at the forefront of the civil society groups supporting the current protests.
Like the Arab Spring in 2010-2011, students have been at the epicenter of Nicaragua’s uprising from the beginning, but their discontent has spread like wildfire. Nicaraguans around the world are calling for change.
Although it is impossible to know what will happen in the hours and days to follow, it is clear that the rioting and looting over the last 48 hours has severely shaken Nicaraguan politics and economics.
Crime and violence in the Northern Triangle is a regional issue that requires a collective response to the structural factors driving it: weak state capacity, corruption within police forces and the judiciary, and insufficient data. Deporting refugees back to the region doesn’t help.