Nicaragua cancels social security overhaul

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua’s president says the government is withdrawing changes to the social security system that had triggered protests, riots and looting over the past week.

President Daniel Ortega said Sunday in a message to the nation that the social security board of directors has canceled the changes implemented on April 16.

The overhaul sought to shore up Nicaragua’s troubled social security system with a combination of reduced benefits and increased taxes.

The changes touched off protests across the Central American nation that escalated into clashes with police as well as looting.

Human rights groups say at least 26 people have been killed in several days of clashes. Dozens of shops in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua have been looted.