The death toll in Nicaragua from protests against the country's president has risen to 127, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said on Monday.
Speaking from the IACHR's headquarters in Washington DC, the group's Executive Secretary, Paulo Abrao, said that, in addition to the deaths, close 1,000 people had been injured during the civil unrest against Daniel Ortega's rule, which began in mid-April.
"According to our data, a total of 127 people have died in the course of protests and nearly a thousand have been injured," Abrao said IACHR.
To illustrate the scale of the fatalities, Abrao pointed to the bloody demonstration in 2017 that gripped Venezuela, a country six times larger than Nicaragua, which left 112 people dead.
He added that the Nicaraguan authorities' response to the protests has been "very disproportionate", and was aimed at creating an atmosphere of "intimidation and terror".
Last week, the Organization of American States agreed with the IACHR and Nicaraguan government to create a commission to investigate the unrest.
Over the weekend, in the city of Masaya, 28 kilometers (17 miles) southeast of Managua, clashes between protesters and the police, supported by pro-government groups, left at least 10 dead, including a police officer, 62 wounded and 10 missing, according to a report by the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights.
The National Police condemned the "terror acts committed in the country by these criminal groups" and the death of the officer.
Ortega's government, which has ruled for the past 11 years, blames opposition political groups for the "criminal violence" that has plagued the country since Apr. 18, and denied reports of "riot squads or paramilitary groups linked to the Government," who protesters blame for the deaths.