MANAGUA: Five people were killed Sunday during elections in Nicaragua’s two Caribbean autonomous regions, as the national electoral council blamed radio stations and indigenous leaders’ alleged calls for boycotts and violence.
The incident occurred shortly before polling stations opened in Tortuguero, a community in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region.
The Constitutionalist Liberal Party said the victims — all PLC members — were abducted from their homes and killed by unidentified assailants. Police have yet to comment on the crimes.
Roberto Rivas, president of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council responsible for organizing the country’s elections, singled out leaders of the Yatama (Mother Earth) indigenous party and local radio stations, for “calls for violence and disorder.”
More than 300,000 Nicaraguans are registered to vote in the Southern and North Atlantic autonomous regions, where locals of African, mestizo or mixed and indigenous descent elect members to two regional councils.
Some 1,092 polling stations opened their doors for the vote.
Caribbean Nicaragua, known for its economic and social underdevelopment, is one of the country’s least populated areas, with its own traditions, native languages and organizational structure.