Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has been rocked since April 18 by anti-government protests that have been severely repressed by the authorities, leaving hundreds dead and thousands wounded.

The protests were initially triggered by now-aborted reforms to the near-bankrupt social security system.

But the unrest quickly broadened into a rejection by many Nicaraguans of President Daniel Ortega, who is seen as autocratic.

Ortega, the former guerrilla leader of the Sandinista revolution, was in power from 1979 to 1990 before returning in 2007.

His wife, Rosario Murillo, is vice president, and several of Ortega’s children hold key positions. (AFP)

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<p>A student takes part in a demonstration by students from different universities from across Nicaragua demanding that President Daniel Ortega and his powerful vice president, wife Rosario Murillo, resign and that the government to keep the 6 percent budget for universities, in Managua, on Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A student takes part in a demonstration by students from different universities from across Nicaragua demanding that President Daniel Ortega and his powerful vice president, wife Rosario Murillo, resign and that the government to keep the 6 percent budget for universities, in Managua, on Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A student takes part in a demonstration by students from different universities from across Nicaragua demanding that President Daniel Ortega and his powerful vice president, wife Rosario Murillo, resign, in Managua, on Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A student takes part in a demonstration by students from different universities from across Nicaragua demanding that President Daniel Ortega and his powerful vice president, wife Rosario Murillo, resign, in Managua, on Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Protesters participate in the “March of Mocking” against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, in Leon, Nicaragua, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Protesters participate in the “March of Mocking” against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, in Leon, Nicaragua, on July 28, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images)

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<p>A student takes part in a demonstration by students from different universities from across Nicaragua demanding President Daniel Ortega and his powerful vice president, wife Rosario Murillo, to resign and the government to keep the 6% budget for universities, in Managua, on Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A student takes part in a demonstration by students from different universities from across Nicaragua demanding President Daniel Ortega and his powerful vice president, wife Rosario Murillo, to resign and the government to keep the 6% budget for universities, in Managua, on Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A woman takes part in a vigil to commemorate 100 days of protests against the government of Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega in front of a mural, in Managua on July 26, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A woman takes part in a vigil to commemorate 100 days of protests against the government of Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega in front of a mural, in Managua on July 26, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A youngster takes part in a vigil to commemorate 100 days of protests against the government of Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega, in Managua on July 26, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A youngster takes part in a vigil to commemorate 100 days of protests against the government of Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega, in Managua on July 26, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Supporters of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega march demanding justice for the “Victims of Terrorism” and jail for those guilty of violent acts during the recent protests, in Managua on July 21, 2018. Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Supporters of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega march demanding justice for the “Victims of Terrorism” and jail for those guilty of violent acts during the recent protests, in Managua on July 21, 2018. Aug. 2, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Anti-government protesters help an injured partner during clashes within the “Marcha de las Flores” in Managua, on June 30, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Anti-government protesters help an injured partner during clashes within the “Marcha de las Flores” in Managua, on June 30, 2018. (Photo: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An anti-government demonstrator fires a home-made mortar during clashes with riot police at a barricade in the town of Masaya, 35 km from Managua on June 9, 2018.(Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

An anti-government demonstrator fires a home-made mortar during clashes with riot police at a barricade in the town of Masaya, 35 km from Managua on June 9, 2018.(Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A woman cries next to coffin of Leyling Chavarria, after he was killed when police and paramilitaries attacked a barricade at the Sandino neighborhood of Jinotega, Nicaragua, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Cristobal Venegas/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A woman cries next to coffin of Leyling Chavarria, after he was killed when police and paramilitaries attacked a barricade at the Sandino neighborhood of Jinotega, Nicaragua, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. (Photo: Cristobal Venegas/AP)

<p>Members of the opposition to the government of President Daniel Ortega hold Molotov cocktails during clashes with the police in Masaya, Nicaragua, Saturday, June 9, 2018. (Photo: Oscar Duarte/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Members of the opposition to the government of President Daniel Ortega hold Molotov cocktails during clashes with the police in Masaya, Nicaragua, Saturday, June 9, 2018. (Photo: Oscar Duarte/AP)

<p>Demonstrators stand behind a barricade during clashes with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Demonstrators stand behind a barricade during clashes with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>A protester poses with his homemade mortar during a protest against President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A protester poses with his homemade mortar during a protest against President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>A demonstrator runs away during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A demonstrator runs away during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>A man fires a home made mortar after clashes erupted during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Violence returned to protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government when riot police and government supporters confronted protesters during a mothers day march to commemorate those mothers who has lost their children during the ongoing protests. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A man fires a home made mortar after clashes erupted during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Violence returned to protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government when riot police and government supporters confronted protesters during a mothers day march to commemorate those mothers who has lost their children during the ongoing protests. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP)

<p>Demonstrators help an injured protester during clashes with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Demonstrators help an injured protester during clashes with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>A demonstrator wearing clown mask stands in front of burned Sandinista radio station during clashes with riot police in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A demonstrator wearing clown mask stands in front of burned Sandinista radio station during clashes with riot police in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>Anti-government demonstrators build a barricade after gunfire erupted during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Alfredo Zuniga/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Anti-government demonstrators build a barricade after gunfire erupted during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Alfredo Zuniga/AP)

<p>Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Demonstrators clash with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>An injured demonstrator is evacuated after clashes with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

An injured demonstrator is evacuated after clashes with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>A man holds a bible in the air after clashes erupted during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A man holds a bible in the air after clashes erupted during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP)

<p>A masked demonstrator hands the blood stained shoe of wounded comrade to a friend as the other gets medical attention during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May, 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A masked demonstrator hands the blood stained shoe of wounded comrade to a friend as the other gets medical attention during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May, 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP)

<p>A man who was shot and wounded is loaded on the back of a pick-up truck to get medical attention during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May, 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A man who was shot and wounded is loaded on the back of a pick-up truck to get medical attention during a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May, 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP)

<p>A masked protester is pictured during a protest against President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A masked protester is pictured during a protest against President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>Demonstrators burn the Sandinista radio station during clashes with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Demonstrators burn the Sandinista radio station during clashes with riot police during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>University students takes part in a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

University students takes part in a march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP)

<p>Grandmother of Danny Rivas, who died in recent protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government, takes part in a protest in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Grandmother of Danny Rivas, who died in recent protests against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s government, takes part in a protest in Managua, Nicaragua, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>Tens of thousands march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Tens of thousands march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP)

<p>This aerial view shows of thousands of demonstrators in march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Alfredo Zuniga/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

This aerial view shows of thousands of demonstrators in march against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, May 30, 2018. (Photo: Alfredo Zuniga/AP)

<p>Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (C), next to Vice-President Rosario Murillo (R), gives a speech during a pro-government rally on Nicaragua’s National Mothers Day at the “Rotonda Hugo Chavez” in Managua on May 30, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (C), next to Vice-President Rosario Murillo (R), gives a speech during a pro-government rally on Nicaragua’s National Mothers Day at the “Rotonda Hugo Chavez” in Managua on May 30, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A supporter of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega takes part in a pro-FSLN government rally on Nicaragua’s National Mothers Day at the “Rotonda Hugo Chavez” in Managua on May 30, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A supporter of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega takes part in a pro-FSLN government rally on Nicaragua’s National Mothers Day at the “Rotonda Hugo Chavez” in Managua on May 30, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Police in riot gear riding on the back of pick-up trucks charge towards demonstrators taking part in a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Monday, May 28, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Police in riot gear riding on the back of pick-up trucks charge towards demonstrators taking part in a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega in Managua, Nicaragua, Monday, May 28, 2018. (Photo: Esteban Felix/AP)

<p>Riot police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 28, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Riot police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega’s government in Managua, Nicaragua, May 28, 2018. (Photo: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters)

<p>A demonstrator wearing a mask points homemade mortar during a protest in Masaya, Nicaragua on May 28, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A demonstrator wearing a mask points homemade mortar during a protest in Masaya, Nicaragua on May 28, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A mural of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega stands defaced at a campaign house for the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in Catarina, Nicaragua, Monday, May 7, 2018, the morning after anti-government demonstrators clashed with FSLN supporters and police. Protests in which dozens of people were killed amid a harsh crackdown by police and government-allied civilians have weakened Ortega, one of the few leftist leaders remaining in power in Latin America, forcing him to pull back on social security reforms that sparked the unrest and facing a newly emboldened opposition determined to see him leave office. (Photo: Moises Castillo/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A mural of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega stands defaced at a campaign house for the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in Catarina, Nicaragua, Monday, May 7, 2018, the morning after anti-government demonstrators clashed with FSLN supporters and police. Protests in which dozens of people were killed amid a harsh crackdown by police and government-allied civilians have weakened Ortega, one of the few leftist leaders remaining in power in Latin America, forcing him to pull back on social security reforms that sparked the unrest and facing a newly emboldened opposition determined to see him leave office. (Photo: Moises Castillo/AP)

<p>Nicaraguan Catholic faithful take part in an open air mass, to demand the end of violence in their country, outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua on April 28, 2018. University students at the forefront of anti-government unrest in Nicaragua on Saturday issued conditions for talks with the government of President Daniel Ortega. The demands followed a week of protests and clashes with police that left at least 43 people dead, according to a leading human rights group. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Nicaraguan Catholic faithful take part in an open air mass, to demand the end of violence in their country, outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua on April 28, 2018. University students at the forefront of anti-government unrest in Nicaragua on Saturday issued conditions for talks with the government of President Daniel Ortega. The demands followed a week of protests and clashes with police that left at least 43 people dead, according to a leading human rights group. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An anti-government demonstrator with a Spiderman mask fires a home-made mortar during a protest demanding Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, stand down, in Managua on May 26, 2018. Hundreds of protesters dug in around Nicaragua on Saturday, blocking roads as at least eight more people were killed in a 24-hour period. Unrest has resumed since week-long church-mediated talks between the government and opposition to quell a month of violence broke down late on Wednesday. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

An anti-government demonstrator with a Spiderman mask fires a home-made mortar during a protest demanding Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, stand down, in Managua on May 26, 2018. Hundreds of protesters dug in around Nicaragua on Saturday, blocking roads as at least eight more people were killed in a 24-hour period. Unrest has resumed since week-long church-mediated talks between the government and opposition to quell a month of violence broke down late on Wednesday. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A dog wears a mask during a protest in Masaya, Nicaragua on May 28, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

A dog wears a mask during a protest in Masaya, Nicaragua on May 28, 2018. (Photo: Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Demonstrators hold a candlelight vigil in honor of those who have died during anti-government protests in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. On Sunday, President Daniel Ortega backed off a social security overhaul that triggered protests, during which at least 30 people have died according to human rights groups. (Photo: Alfredo Zuniga/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Demonstrators hold a candlelight vigil in honor of those who have died during anti-government protests in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. On Sunday, President Daniel Ortega backed off a social security overhaul that triggered protests, during which at least 30 people have died according to human rights groups. (Photo: Alfredo Zuniga/AP)

<p>View of an entrance to the University blocked with chairs, during protests against the government’s reforms in the Institute of Social Security (INSS), in Managua on April 22, 2018. Violent protests against a proposed change to Nicaragua’s pension system have left at least 20 people dead, according to a local human rights body. The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights said it was still trying to verify figures, but that at least 20 people had been killed since protests erupted in the central American country on April 18 over pension reform. (Photo: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

View of an entrance to the University blocked with chairs, during protests against the government’s reforms in the Institute of Social Security (INSS), in Managua on April 22, 2018. Violent protests against a proposed change to Nicaragua’s pension system have left at least 20 people dead, according to a local human rights body. The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights said it was still trying to verify figures, but that at least 20 people had been killed since protests erupted in the central American country on April 18 over pension reform. (Photo: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Relatives and colleagues of Nicaragua’s policewoman Juana Francisca Aguilar, who died after being injured during clashes in protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega, carry her coffin during her funeral in Jinotepe 50 kilometres south of Managua on April 24, 2018. Nicaragua was sliding into unchartered territory on Tuesday with protests against longtime President Daniel Ortega swelling to outpace a robust police crackdown in which at least 27 people have been killed. Nearly a week of unrest has violently exposed public resentment of the 72-year-old leftist leader and his wife Rosario Murillo, who is the vice president. (Photo: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Relatives and colleagues of Nicaragua’s policewoman Juana Francisca Aguilar, who died after being injured during clashes in protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega, carry her coffin during her funeral in Jinotepe 50 kilometres south of Managua on April 24, 2018. Nicaragua was sliding into unchartered territory on Tuesday with protests against longtime President Daniel Ortega swelling to outpace a robust police crackdown in which at least 27 people have been killed. Nearly a week of unrest has violently exposed public resentment of the 72-year-old leftist leader and his wife Rosario Murillo, who is the vice president. (Photo: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Gasoline bombs stand at the ready during a protest against the government of President Daniel Ortega, in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday, April 11, 2018. President Ortega has withdrawn changes to the social security system that touched off protests across the Central American nation that escalated into clashes with police leaving dozens dead. (Photo: Alfredo Zuniga/AP) </p>
Anti-government protests in Nicaragua

Gasoline bombs stand at the ready during a protest against the government of President Daniel Ortega, in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday, April 11, 2018. President Ortega has withdrawn changes to the social security system that touched off protests across the Central American nation that escalated into clashes with police leaving dozens dead. (Photo: Alfredo Zuniga/AP)

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