Costa Rica president wants free elections for Nicaragua

SEATTLE (AP) — Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado says Central America should not be satisfied until Nicaragua holds free elections and re-establishes a free press, democracy and human rights guarantees.

In an interview last week with The Associated Press during a tour of the western United States, Alvarado said turmoil in Nicaragua in is having an impact on regional immigration and the economy.

A political standoff has lasted nearly a year between President Daniel Ortega and a coalition of students, businesses and civic groups called the Civic Alliance.

Talks between the two sides broke down earlier this month over the government’s imprisonment of opposition members.

Ortega’s government launched a violent crackdown last year on protesters.

More than 25,000 Nicaraguans have since crossed the border into Costa Rica.

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