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In November 2016, [[Nicaraguan general election, 2016|Ortega was elected for his third consecutive term]] (his fourth overall). International monitoring of the elections was initially prohibited, and as a result the validity of the [[Elections in Nicaragua|elections]] has been disputed, but observation by the [[Organization of American States|OAS]] was announced in October.<ref>{{cite news|last1=Geoff|first1=Thale|title=As Nicaragua's Election Draws Near, Concerns Grow Over Abuse of Power|url=https://www.wola.org/analysis/nicaraguas-election-draws-near-concerns-grow-abuse-power/|access-date=13 January 2018|publisher=WOLA}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|title=OAS Mission in Nicaragua Recommends Integral Electoral Reform|url=http://www.oas.org/en/media_center/press_release.asp?sCodigo=E-079/17|access-date=13 January 2018|agency=Organization of American States|date=November 7, 2016}}</ref> Ortega was reported by Nicaraguan election officials as having received 72% of the vote. However the [[Broad Front for Democracy]] (FAD), having promoted boycotts of the elections, claimed that 70% of voters had abstained (while election officials claimed 65.8% participation).<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-37892477|title=Nicaragua's Ortega re-elected president|date=2016-11-07|work=BBC News|access-date=2017-09-12|language=en-GB}}</ref>
 
StartingIn April 18, 2018, [[2018–2020 Nicaraguan protests|demonstrations]] opposed a decree increasing taxes and reducing benefits in the country's pension system. Local independent press organizations had documented at least 19 dead and over 100 missing in the ensuing conflict.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://confidencial.com.ni/quienes-son-muertos-de-las-protestas-en-nicaragua/|title=Los muertos de la represión que Daniel Ortega oculta|last=Cerda|first=Arlen|date=2018-04-22|work=Confidencial|access-date=2018-04-25|language=es-NI}}</ref> A reporter from NPR spoke to protestors who explained that while the initial issue was about the pension reform, the uprisings that spread across the country reflected many grievances about the government's time in office, and that the fight is for President Ortega and his vice president wife to step down.<ref>{{cite news|last1=Kahn|first1=Carrie|title=Nicaragua Withdraws Social Security Changes That Sparked Unrest|url=https://www.npr.org/2018/04/23/604854250/nicaragua-withdraws-social-security-changes-that-sparked-unrest|access-date=31 May 2018|publisher=NPR|date=April 23, 2018|language=en}}</ref> April 24, 2018 marked the day of the greatest march in opposition of the Sandinista party. On May 2, 2018, university-student leaders publicly announced that they give the government seven days to set a date and time for a dialogue that was promised to the people due to the recent events of repression. The students also scheduled another march on that same day for a peaceful protest. As of May 2018, estimates of the death toll were as high as 63, many of them student protesters, and the wounded totalled more than 400.<ref>{{cite news|last1=Garvin|first1=Glenn|title=In Nicaragua, the political battle is moving from the streets to the negotiating table|url=http://www.miamiherald.com/latest-news/article210129639.html|access-date=May 2, 2018|work=Miami Herald|date=May 2, 2018|language=en}}</ref> Following a working visit from May 17 to 21, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights adopted precautionary measures aimed at protecting members of the student movement and their families after testimonies indicated the majority of them had suffered acts of violence and death threats for their participation.<ref>{{cite news|title=CIDH condena nuevos hechos de violencia en Nicaragua|url=http://www.oas.org/es/cidh/prensa/comunicados/2018/116.asp|access-date=26 May 2018|work=www.oas.org|agency=Inter-American Commission on Human Rights|publisher=Organization of American States|date=25 May 2018|language=es}}</ref> In the last week of May, thousands who accuse Mr. Ortega and his wife of acting like dictators joined in resuming anti-government rallies after attempted peace talks have remained unresolved.<ref>{{cite news|title=Nicaraguan protesters call on Ortega to go|url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-44269498|access-date=27 May 2018|work=BBC News|publisher=BBC|date=27 May 2018}}</ref>
 
== Geography and climate ==
The low plains of the Atlantic Coast are {{convert|97|km|0|abbr=on}} wide in areas. They have long been exploited for their natural resources.
 
On the Pacific side of Nicaragua are the two largest fresh water lakes in Central America—[[Lake Managua]] and [[Lake Nicaragua]]. Surrounding these lakes and extending to their northwest along the [[rift valley]] of the [[Gulf of Fonseca]] are fertile lowland plains, with soil highly enriched by [[volcanic ash|ash]] from nearby [[volcano]]es of the central highlands. Nicaragua's abundance of biologically significant and unique [[ecosystem]]s contribute to [[Mesoamerica]]'s designation as a [[biodiversity hotspot]]. Nicaragua has made efforts to become less dependent on fossil fuels, and as of reports in 2017, it expectedexpects to acquire 90% of its energy from renewable resources by the year 2020.<ref name="bbc">{{Cite news|title=Why isn't Nicaragua in the Paris agreement?|url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-40135819|newspaper=BBC News|access-date=October 27, 2017|date=June 3, 2017}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Nicaragua: a renewable energy paradise in Central America|url=http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2013/10/25/energias-renovables-nicaragua|website=World Bank|access-date=October 27, 2017|language=en|date=October 25, 2013}}</ref> Nicaragua was one of the few countries that did not enter an [[Intended Nationally Determined Contributions|INDC]] at [[COP21]].<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-08/after-two-decades-of-stumbles-carbon-market-pioneers-revving-up#media-2|title=Carbon Markets Are Making a Slow, But Steady, Comeback|first1=Alex |last1=Nussbaum|first2=Ewa |last2=Krukowska|first3=Mathew |last3=Carr|date=8 December 2015|work=Bloomberg.com|access-date=17 February 2016}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/indc/Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx|title=INDCs as communicated by Parties|publisher=unfccc.int}}</ref> Nicaragua initially chose not to join the Paris Climate Accord because it felt that "much more action is required" by individual countries on restricting global temperature rise.<ref name="bbc" /> However, in October 2017, Nicaragua made the decision to join the agreement.<ref>{{cite news|title=Nicaragua to join Paris climate accord, leaving US and Syria isolated|url=https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/23/nicaragua-joins-paris-climate-accord-us-trump-syria|access-date=December 4, 2017|work=The Guardian|date=October 23, 2017}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|last1=Stack|first1=Liam|title=Only U.S. and Syria Now Oppose Paris Climate Deal, as Nicaragua Joins|url=https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/world/americas/nicaragua-paris-climate-agreement-us.html|access-date=December 4, 2017|work=The New York Times|date=October 24, 2017}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|last1=Noack|first1=Rick|title=Being outside the Paris climate deal: Something now only the U.S. and Syria agree on|url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/10/24/not-being-part-of-the-paris-climate-deal-something-only-the-u-s-and-syria-agree-on/|access-date=December 4, 2017|work=[[The Washington Post]]|date=October 24, 2017}}</ref> It ratified this agreement on November 22, 2017.<ref>{{cite web|title=Paris Agreement – Status of Ratification|url=http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9444.php|publisher=United Nations|access-date=13 January 2018}}</ref>
 
Nearly one fifth of Nicaragua is designated as [[Protected areas of Nicaragua|protected areas]] like national parks, nature reserves, and biological reserves. The country had a 2019 [[Forest Landscape Integrity Index]] mean score of 3.63/10, ranking it 146th globally out of 172 countries.<ref name="FLII-Supplementary">{{cite journal|last1=Grantham|first1=H. S.|last2=Duncan|first2=A.|last3=Evans|first3=T. D.|last4=Jones|first4=K. R.|last5=Beyer|first5=H. L.|last6=Schuster|first6=R.|last7=Walston|first7=J.|last8=Ray|first8=J. C.|last9=Robinson|first9=J. G.|last10=Callow|first10=M.|last11=Clements|first11=T.|last12=Costa|first12=H. M.|last13=DeGemmis|first13=A.|last14=Elsen|first14=P. R.|last15=Ervin|first15=J.|last16=Franco|first16=P.|last17=Goldman|first17=E.|last18=Goetz|first18=S.|last19=Hansen|first19=A.|last20=Hofsvang|first20=E.|last21=Jantz|first21=P.|last22=Jupiter|first22=S.|last23=Kang|first23=A.|last24=Langhammer|first24=P.|last25=Laurance|first25=W. F.|last26=Lieberman|first26=S.|last27=Linkie|first27=M.|last28=Malhi|first28=Y.|last29=Maxwell|first29=S.|last30=Mendez|first30=M.|last31=Mittermeier|first31=R.|last32=Murray|first32=N. J.|last33=Possingham|first33=H.|last34=Radachowsky|first34=J.|last35=Saatchi|first35=S.|last36=Samper|first36=C.|last37=Silverman|first37=J.|last38=Shapiro|first38=A.|last39=Strassburg|first39=B.|last40=Stevens|first40=T.|last41=Stokes|first41=E.|last42=Taylor|first42=R.|last43=Tear|first43=T.|last44=Tizard|first44=R.|last45=Venter|first45=O.|last46=Visconti|first46=P.|last47=Wang|first47=S.|last48=Watson|first48=J. E. M.|display-authors=1|title=Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity - Supplementary Material|journal=Nature Communications|volume=11|issue=1|year=2020|page=5978|issn=2041-1723|doi=10.1038/s41467-020-19493-3|pmid=33293507|pmc=7723057|doi-access=free}}</ref> [[Geophysical]]ly, Nicaragua is surrounded by the [[Caribbean Plate]], an [[oceanic crust|oceanic]] [[tectonic plate]] underlying Central America and the [[Cocos Plate]]. Since Central America is a major [[subduction]] zone, Nicaragua hosts most of the [[Central American Volcanic Arc]].
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