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A march in support of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua A march in support of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua 

Nicaragua: thousands march in support of the Catholic Church

Thousands took to the streets of Nicaragua's capital on Sunday to voice their support for the Catholic Church that is mediating in the National Dialogue Process between the government and the opposition.

In Nicaragua thousands of anti-government protesters have taken part in a march to show support for the Catholic Church.

The government accuses Catholic bishops of siding with the opposition and encouraging protests. Followers of other religious denominations and non-believers also joined the march in the capital, Managua.

More than 300 people have died since protests against President Daniel Ortega began in April.

Bishop Carlos Avilés who heads the commission for National Dialogue said the Churches will remain open for all who need shelter and reiterated that "The Church will continue to support dialogue, even if it is criticised."

The Catholic Church in Nicaragua has been acting as a mediator in talks between the opposition and the government. It has called for an end to violence on both sides, but has been critical of the way the authorities handled the unrest.

Meanwhile, as James Blears reports, the Brother of Nicaragua`s President Daniel Ortega is urging him to curb rampaging pro government armed militias, who are worsening the unrest and violence, in this ongoing three month dispute.

President Daniel Ortega`s younger Brother Humberto is well qualified to talk about this issue. An ex Sandinista, he`s also the former Minister of Defence.  Humberto is urging the Authorities to step in to insure the paramilitaries step down.  But older brother is accusing the Opposition and drug cartels of funding the paramilitaries, denying they come under his jurisdiction.

Humberto who retired as Defence Minister back in 1995, is urging that Elections be brought forward. But the President and his Wife Vice President Rosario Murillo, refuse to step down. The opposition are demanding their resignations. More than 300 people have died in protests, while hundreds more have been wounded or arrested.

Liaten to James Blears' report
29 July 2018, 17:58