Months of deadly unrest devastate Nicaragua’s economy

LEON, Nicaragua (AP) — Two days after protests began in Nicaragua in April, a foreign auto components company was meeting at a hotel in the city of Leon when smoke from a burning university building just a block away billowed above the hotel’s colonnaded courtyard.

The visitors quickly cut short their event and began changing their travel plans to exit Nicaragua. The hotel later closed.

Nicaragua’s economy has been devastated by the nearly five months of unrest sparked by cuts to social security benefits that quickly evolved into calls for President Daniel Ortega to step down.

In June, the country’s economic activity was down 12.1 percent compared to a year earlier, according to the central bank. Economists estimate 200,000 jobs have been shed.

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