Universities 'held hostage' in Nicaragua's political crisis

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Science  21 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6421, pp. 1338
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6421.1338

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The lives of Nicaraguan academics and students have been upended by an escalating political crisis. In the spring, demonstrations against a proposed cut to social security evolved into a new movement, led by students, against President Daniel Ortega's stranglehold on political power and his brutal repression of dissent. Since then, more than 300 protesters have been killed and at least as many have been arrested. Tens of thousands more have gone into exile. The repression has struck particularly hard at Nicaragua's universities, where firings, arrests, and attacks on students have brought higher education and research to a virtual standstill. The Nicaraguan government is now attempting to cut public funding for the Central American University in Managua, one of the last bastions of free speech in the country.