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LatinNews Daily Report - 24 June 2013

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In Brief - Nicaragua

POLITICS | Ortega under pressure over pensions. On 23 June Managua’s auxiliary bishop Silvio Báez described protests by senior citizens demanding a partial pension from the national social security institute, Instituto Nicaragüense de Seguridad Social (INSS), as a “just battle” and an “example”. Grouped in the Unidad Nacional del Adulto Mayor (UNAM), the senior citizens began their protests on 17 June outside the INSS headquarters in Managua. Báez’s remarks, made during his weekly mass, followed clashes on 22 June between some 200 ‘shock troops’ – youths from President Daniel Ortega’s ruling Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) – and about 100 supporters of the senior citizens. Those present denounced the inaction of the police, who reportedly failed to stop the violence. The UNAM has been demanding a partial pension for five years for senior citizens that failed to made contributions for the 750 weeks necessary to claim a pension. On 21 June, the INSS president Roberto López told reporters that the INSS could not afford to the C$2.35bn (US$95m) a year required to cover these people, numbering 54,870. He noted that the social security institute’s reserves stood at just CS$1.5bn (US$60m).