Civil Unrest in Nicaragua

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by TeeVee, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    Advisory: the past few days have seen widespread, as in occurring in many different places) rioting , tire and building burning, and blockades due to the fabulous goverment’s sweeping changes to the social security laws here.

    Results are traffic and the real potential for injury via rocks and rubber bullets.

    Protests are mostly during the night but plenty during daylight.

    Govern yourselves accordingly and “let’s be careful out there!”
    #1
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  2. Secret Agent Man

    Secret Agent Man Globe Trotter

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    Thanks for taking the time to post this......greatly appreciated.
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  3. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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  4. aimlesspayload

    aimlesspayload n00b

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    Hi there,

    I've been driving south from San Franciso. I'm currently in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and had been planning on driving into Nicaragua in 3 days from today (April 25th). The news and images coming out of Nicaragua are making it seem like a bad idea to enter the country.

    Is it possible with a reasonable degree of safety to cross through Nicaragua? If need be I can do it in a few days of long rides and take side roads.

    Right now I am in "wait and observe" mode. Hoping somebody who lives in Nicaragua can either suggest a safe route avoiding violence, or tell me it is really not safe to enter at all.

    -Really appreciate any advice. Hoping Honduras isn't my turn-back point.
    #4
  5. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    so this is a tough call for me to make. don't wanna be the guy responsible for saying it was ok, so i'm just gonna give the facts as i see them.

    the two scenarios where a foreigner may find himself in trouble are: 1) you participate or are very close to one of the seige points--universities occupied by students and under seige by the cops; or 2) you find yourself on a situation like i was in yesterday.

    took the truck out to try and find an open store to pickup supplies. after having discovered that all stores had remained closed, i headed back home. on the way out i tried taking main roads but found them blocked and barricaded in many places, so on the return i went through side streets. BIG MISTAKE.

    driving alone behind a taxi, i noticed a fairly decent sized crowd in the street a few blocks ahead. I also noticed that cars were passing through, so being the idiot gringo, i continued on. the mob was in the process of building a barricade in the road and were getting ready to break into the local supermarket (wal mart owned pali). one sure way to piss people off is prevent them from getting food for their families. As i got to the barricade, my truck was surrounded by about 150-200 people, mostly young males. They were not really paying me much attention or acting in a threatening way, but lemme tell ya, it wasn't fun. I switched into 4x4 and mentally prepared myself to ram my way out there if things got ugly--better to kill than be killed. after what seemed like an eternity, one guy smacked the hood of my truck and waived me around the barricade.

    so, you need to understand that you could run into this type of situation anywhere. there are nowhere near enough police to patrol the entire country. yes, the military has been deployed as well, but still.

    in most parts of the country, gas stations are out of fuel (no deliveries being made), supermarkets are either closed or have been ransacked, restaurants are closed.

    could one conceivably enter nicaragua and make it out the other side? 80% yes. is absolutely carrying on in your adventures worth the risk? only you can answer that.

    30+ people have been killed--mostly college kids. cops here shoot first and never answer questions. 47 people missing. hundreds injured, and god only knows how many are locked up in some hellhole jail.
    #5
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  6. AndyT

    AndyT Been here awhile

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    National Public Radio in the states is reporting that the president is repealing the changes that sparked all this. True?
    #6
  7. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    yes, he did so yesterday. and while things appear to have calmed down a bit, there is still A LOT of anger and unrest here. the changes to the social security law were what set these folks off. there is and has been FAR MORE boiling beneath the surface and this is what continues to be the problem.
    #7
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  8. aimlesspayload

    aimlesspayload n00b

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    Ok TeeVee, thanks so much for the info. I think right now I will wait up to 2 weeks to see if things settle down enough. If not, I will look into either storing my bike in Honduras for a few months while I go backpack Asia, or trade bikes with a buddy who is heading north and is stranded south of Nica.

    Thanks again!
    #8
  9. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    today i witnessed one of the most amazing things i've ever seen anywhere. 100s of 1000s of nicas marching peacefully in insane heat for MILES in protest of the current dictatorship and in support of the university students who played a HUGE roll in this fiasco. the route passed my house and it lasted for hours. insane numbers of people, cars, bikes etc. there were NO COPS to be seen anywhere in managua. since they are the ones fomenting violence and have apparently taken a break from doing so, things are calming down. the people have banded together to stop the looting and it's working! i saw one video of a guy walking down the street carrying a stolen flat screen tv and another grabbed the tv from him and smashed it on the ground yelling at him that he would not profit from his crime.

    as i type, about 150 meters from my house, they are in the process of taking down another one of the fugly "trees" whoreteaga's wife installed several years ago.

    today, businesses mostly reopened. supermarkets are open and gas stations are refueled. schools reopen on the 25th--for now.
    #9
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  10. aimlesspayload

    aimlesspayload n00b

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    TeeVee, It seems like things are calming down enough for me to enter. I was thinking I would enter Nicaragua on the 27th. Does this route seem alright?

    Originally I was hoping to go to Leon, Managua, Granada, San Juan Del Sur, and Ometepe Island but I guess I am trying to avoid major cities now :-/.

    So now, I'm basically just trying to get through the country and over to Costa Rica and the only real city I don't think I can avoid is Leon. I've been told that taking backroads is a worse idea than just staying on the main highways. I'd still like to spend a few nights on Ometepe island, if it will still be a good time. I figured I would spend nights in Las Penetas (beach), Playa Maderas (near San Juan Del Sur), and Ometepe Island (if I can stash my bike somewhere for a few nights).

    Does this route and entry date seem reasonable to you? Thanks again so much for your help. Really valuable to me!
    -Alan


    upload_2018-4-25_12-7-55.png
    #10
  11. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    Yes things have calmed down quite a bit and the violence has passed for now. Recall that the violence was brought on by the cops repressing the people. They’ve since backed off and the protests and marches are peaceful.

    I think you will be ok. Yes, stick to main roads and be watchful for large crowds. If you see one, think carefully on making a u turn and taking a different route. Playa Peñitas is the most dangerous beach in Nica surf wise. Strong undertow and large waves so unless you’re going to surf avoid it. Managua is not worth visiting for the most part—just a busy dirty city. Leon will be fine. From their you should head to Granada, which is the other nice colonial city and should be ok as well. Wherever you end up avoid walking around at night unless you hook up with a larger group.

    You can take your bike to ometepe as opposed to worrying about finding a place to stash it.

    Though I’m now back in Miami for a few weeks, Once in country, if you run into any trouble pm me. Have lots of peeps there!
    #11
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  12. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    A quick update:

    things have calmed down but violent confrontations are still occurring between the police and peaceful protesters. last night, the cops shot and wounded an 18 month old baby. she was in her house and the bullet, probably from an ak-47, penetrated the outer wall and hit her. she's in critical condition. 2 others will killed in the same protest, both by police shootings. this occurred in matagalpa, a north-central city nowhere near the capital.

    seeing as there is no way to avoid passing through nicaragua while transiting through central america, my advice (sadly) to anyone that needs to do so, is to enter very early in the morning, and stop in a major city. find a good hotel and lock yourself in until the following morning, when you should finish transiting the country. avoid hotels in areas near universities. and absolutely avoid spectating at a protest. the cops are shooting randomly and there are credible reports of government sponsored snipers shooting indiscriminately into crowds.
    #12
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  13. BikeMex

    BikeMex Been here awhile

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    Really sad what happens there. I used to live in Nicaragua and it was always a relaxed and safe country... most of the time...
    #13
  14. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    :uhoh
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  15. tferguson

    tferguson Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    Unfortunately this route is the boring one, ignoring Leon, Granada, Ompete, etc... but @TeeVee or anyone would have any insight or suggestions, this looks like it'd be the safer option to avoid the unrest
    #15
  16. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    cant see any pic there mate
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  17. tferguson

    tferguson Been here awhile

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    Round 2?
    Nic.jpg
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  18. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

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    Getting word again from the Apoyo group, do not go to Nicaragua! Apparently a new round of killings has happened and it's going to ramp up again.
    #18
  19. knight

    knight Long timer

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  20. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    tferguson, normally i would say that's not a bad route and is no more boring than the west side of the lake, though you will miss granada and san juan del sur. but several things here:

    1. the border crossing at that location is not optimal on the cost rica side. not sure if it's changed but i heard that you have to leave your bike there, take a bus for an hour in each direction just to buy CR insurance. this may have changed but...

    2.roadblocks are up in all sorts of areas. at most places, they are letting traffic through every 30 minutes or so but it could take hours. yes, on a bike you could ride all the way to the front and they might even let you go around, but DO NOT FORCE THE ISSUE. people here are VERY much on the edge. it's not a good time.

    3. you may be tempted to take secondary roads but i'm gonna advise against that. stay on the main roads for now.

    4. as others mentioned, the police and paramilitary murders of civilians has increased, so BE CAREFUL and smart.
    #20