In 2016, President Ortega won his second re-election without facing legitimate opposition and despite widespread calls of election fraud. Since then, the FSLN government has held a monopoly in parliament (71 out of 92 legislators), the justice system (11 out of 16 magistrates), and the electoral system (seven out of 10 commission members), while also controlling the national army and police. He also sustains a mechanism of social control using street mobs, which he directs through the organized membership of the Sandinista Youth. They are individuals (now militarily) trained to intimidate and crush civil disobedience using any means. As documented by human rights organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right (OHCHR), these mobs have been responsible, through tacit police support, for many of the deaths since mid-April, following clashes over the newly proposed pension reform.
It is now becoming increasingly clear that recent protests reflect the anger of the Nicaraguan people towards what many describe as an environment of systematic corruption and abuse of authority that has spanned almost 30 years.