Arbitrary arrests, abuse the new norm in Nicaragua

  • In this July 14, 2018 file photo, students who had taken refuge at the Jesus of Divine Mercy church amid a barrage of armed attacks, arrive on a bus to the Metropolitan cathedral, in Managua, Nicaragua. When paramilitaries attacked the campus in mid-July nearly 200 students were driven out under heavy fire and took refuge at the church. The attack left two people dead. (AP Photo/Cristobal Venegas)

  • In this July 25, 2018 photo, Maria Jose Malespin shows a photograph of her missing son Lester Lenin Mayorga Malespin, who was detained at a police checkpoint on the outskirts of the Caribbean city of Bluefields, in Managua, Nicaragua. For three weeks the he was held without seeing a judge or being able to speak to his family. Malespin and her daughter-in-law flew to Bluefields to look for him only to find out after the fact that he had been transferred to Managua’s notorious El Chipote jail. Finally on Aug. 1, he was released with no explanation. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • In this July 24, 2018 photo, flyers of missing persons cover a wall inside the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, in Managua, Nicaragua. The flyers represent part of at least 400 missing persons arrested in Nicaragua in nearly four months of unrest and subsequent crackdown, according to investigation by the center. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • In this July 24, 2018 photo, a university student who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals from the government show his tattoo of a Sacuanjoche, the national flower of Nicaragua, scared by a cigaret burn, in Managua, Nicaragua. The student days the cigarette burns were part of the torture he suffered while in the government jails. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • In this July 27, 2018 photo, a university student who did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals from the government shows his scars, the product of surgery to extract a bullet from his shoulder, in Managua, Nicaragua. According to the non-governmental Nicaraguan Human Rights Center, 400 “political prisoners” are believed to still be held in jails, prisons and police stations across the country. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • In this Saturday, July 28, 2018 photo, Jairo Bonilla, leader of the April 19 student movement, wears a T-shirt with text that reads in Spanish “We are not criminals,” during an interview with the Associated Press in Managua, Nicaragua. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has said its monitoring team in Nicaragua found that “Nicaraguan authorities made numerous arbitrary detentions involving the use of force.” (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — The 21-year-old agricultural economics student, nearly two months pregnant, had hoped to escape Nicaragua with her boyfriend, but a police officer on a motorcycle blocked their path as they were getting into taxis with other students to go to a safe house.

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