Information on the political activities of the Union of Students of Nicaragua (UNEN) in relation to opposition to educational cutbacks in 1995-96 [NIC26220.E]

Please find attached some articles that refer to activities of the National Union of Nicaraguan Students, the country's largest student organization, in late 1995 and early 1996. Please note that the attachments do not refer to opposition to funding cuts to educational services, but rather to demands that the government allocate a certain percentage of its budget to universities. The attachments refer to a violent clash between police and demonstrators in December 1995, and to the police dislodging of a January 1996 occupation of the foreign ministry and hostage-taking by the union's leaders and members, among other demonstrations and forceful actions. Several of the attachments report that the students and leaders who occupied the foreign ministry were armed with slingshots and home-made bombs and grenade-launchers or mortars (for example, Central America Report 8 Feb. 1996, 2; AFP 2 Feb. 1996; ibid. 31 Jan. 1996; The New York Times 2 Feb. 1996). Please refer to the attachments for additional details.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Agence France Presse (AFP). 2 February 1996. "Students Demand Release of Protesters, 35 Are Set Free." (NEXIS)

_____. 31 January 1996. Lidia Hunter. "After Hostage Crisis, Managua Students Briefly Hold 15 Police." (NEXIS)

_____. 31 January 1996. Lidia Hunter. "Pakistani, Philippine Ambassadors Safe in Hostage Crisis." (Global NewsBank)

The Boston Globe. 7 February 1996. City Edition. Steve Fainaru. "A Nervous Nicaragua Awaits the Pope." (NEXIS)

Central America Report [Guatemala City]. 30 May 1996. "Nicaragua: University Budget Law Vetoed," p. 3.

_____. 9 May 1996. "Nicaragua: Controversy over Resources for Universities," p. 7.

_____. 8 February 1996. "Nicaragua: Temporary Truce in University Budget Conflict," pp. 1-2.

Inter Press Service (IPS). 17 December 1995. "Universities Fear for State of Democracy." (Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.],11-24 Dec. 1995, Vol. 10, No. 23, p. 11)

Miami Herald. 28 December 1995. "Report: Police Opened Fire Without Permission." (Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.],25 Dec. 1995-7 Jan. 1996, Vol. 10, No. 24, pp. 9-10)

_____. 15 December 1995. "Government, Students Talking After Protests." (Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.],11-24 Dec. 1995, Vol. 10, No. 23, pp. 11-12)

_____. 14 December 1995. "Professor Killed, 19 People Hurt in Clash." (Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.],11-24 Dec. 1995, Vol. 10, No. 23, p. 11)

_____. 13 December 1995. "Student Protest Causes Shutdown of Airport." (Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.],11-24 Dec. 1995, Vol. 10, No. 23, p. 11)

The New York Times. 2 February 1996. Julia Preston. "Nicaragua's Student Protests Cloud Pope's Visit." (Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.], 22 Jan.-4 Feb. 1996, Vol. 10, No. 26, pp. 11-12)

Reuters. 30 January 1996. "Nicaraguan Students Seize Foreign Ministry." (Global NewsBank)

The United Press International (UPI). 31 January 1996. BC Cycle. "Students Removed from Nicaraguan Ministry." (NEXIS)