An indigenous leader in Nicaragua has been found dead with a gunshot wound to his head after recently criticising the Sandinista National Liberation Front socialist party led by President Daniel Ortega.
Indigenous political leader Mark Rivas was found dead in the city of Bilwi, also known as Puerto Cabezas, in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region of north-eastern Nicaragua.
According to local media, the authorities are currently investigating two possible outcomes for Rivas’ death, that he was shot in the head while arguing with someone and the possibility that he killed himself.
Rivas was the director of the Pri Lanka indigenous movement formed by the Miskito people, an indigenous ethnic group in Central America.
The victim was also a member of the indigenous political party Yatama (‘Sons of Mother Earth’ in the Miskito language).
The Yatama party has so far been unable to confirm whether Rivas’ death had a political motive.
A spokesperson for the Pri Lanka movement confirmed the death and described Rivas as “a great man, good citizen and an important indigenous leader”.
According to local media, Rivas recently criticised the Sandinista National Liberation Front socialist party led by President Daniel Ortega.
He claimed the government had established “parallel local authorities” to increase the occupation of indigenous territories.
According to Pri Lanka, 140 indigenous communities with an average population of 300 inhabitants have been taken over since last 2015 in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region and in the South Caribbean Region.
The investigation into Rivas’ death is ongoing.
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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