April 19, 2012

NICARAGUA: Senior citizens threaten hunger strikes

GRANADA, Nicaragua / The Nicaragua Dispatch / News / April 17, 2012

Demanding Pensions: thousands of senior citizens are threatening hunger strikes if the government doesn't comply with its promise to provide social security pensions (Photo/ Tim Rogers)
Some 15,000 senior citizens will march on the National Assembly tomorrow to demand the Sandinista government comply with its aging promise to provide social security pensions.
Porfirio García, president of the National Union of Senior Citizens (UNAM), says if the lawmakers don’t attend to the group tomorrow, thousands of elderly Nicaraguans will declare an indefinite hunger strike in the street in front of the National Assembly.
García said Sandinista lawmakers Edwin Castro and Gustavo Porras and Social Security Institute director Roberto López promised the senior citizens in October 2011 that the State would start to pay social security pensions in the first months of 2012. But five months later, the government has yet to pay any pensions and is now ignoring requests to meet with the senior citizen group.
As a result, García’s said his group is resorting to the only form of protest that the government responds to: massively disruptive street demonstrations.
García said 15,000 elderly will be in the streets tomorrow and the protest will last indefinitely until the government responds to their demands.
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