MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has sat down to formally talk with opposition and civic groups for the first time since he returned to power in 2007.
The dialogue comes after more than 60 people died amid a government crackdown on demonstrations against social security cuts.
Ortega was greeted by jeers as he arrived at a seminary on the outskirts of Managua with his wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo and a large security detail of about 500 riot police.
The dialogue supported by the Catholic Church includes university students who participated actively in the protests against the cuts, which Ortega later withdrew.
The students are now demanding greater democracy in a country where most governmental institutions are tightly controlled by Ortega's Sandinista party.