On April 16, 2018, demonstrators marched in the capital of Managua to protest what they regarded as an insufficient government response to forest fires that burned 13,500 acres (5,500 hectares) of the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve, a tropical nature preserve that is home to Rama and Kriol indigenous people, as well as significant biodiversity and endangered species. Counter-protests supported the Sandinista Front government.
On Wednesday, 18 April, protests in the capital expanded in response to the Ortega - Murillo administration announcement of social security reforms that raised income and payroll taxes while reducing pension benefits by 5%. Demonstrations also emerged in six more cities, meeting with heavy response from authorities following the deployment of the Nicaraguan Army to respond to protesters ordered by President Ortega. At least 26 people were killed, including journalist Angel Gahona of the news program Meridiano, with Gahona being shot to death outside of city hall in Bluefields while streaming on Facebook Live. Reports also emerged that various forms of independent media were censored during the protests.
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