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Kidnapped Nicaragua opposition party head killed

Agence France-Presse

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AFP) — Nicaraguan opposition party CxL Thursday denounced the killing by gunmen of one of its leaders in the northeast of the country.

“Three armed men came to kidnap the leader of Ciudadanos por la Libertad (Citizens for Freedom, CxL) Jose Lopez, 51, and kill him,” the party said in a statement.

It said Lopez was killed Monday night in the town of Mulukuku, 250 kilometers (150 miles) northeast of Managua.

His widow Tomasa Vargas said she suspected the attack was a “political crime.”

CxL is part of a group of Nicaraguan parties planning to come together in an opposition coalition to be launched next Tuesday ahead of the 2021 general elections.

The ruling Sandinista party has not ruled out the possibility of President Daniel Ortega standing for a fourth consecutive term.

Critics accuse Ortega, a former rebel hero who has been in power since 2007, of running a repressive dictatorship.

A crackdown on anti-government protests in 2018 left more than 300 people dead, according to rights groups.

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