(CNN)Nicaragua has instituted a "shoot to kill" policy in dealing with protests that has resulted in an "alarming number of deaths," according to an investigation by Amnesty International.
Nicaragua using 'shoot to kill' strategy on protesters, Amnesty International says
According to the 34-page report, released Tuesday, the government has violated citizens' human rights and not only used "excessive force in the context of the protests, but possibly carried out extrajudicial executions in conjunction with pro-government armed groups."
Civil unrest has entered its sixth week in Nicaragua as protests continue throughout the country. At least 76 people have been killed, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, with close to 900 injured in what appears to be the largest protests the country has seen since the civil war ended in 1990.
Human rights lawyer and Amnesty International Director of Americas Erika Guevara-Rosas said the death toll is now at least 83.
The Nicaraguan government has reported 15 dead since the conflict began on April 18 over social security reforms that would increase contributions by workers and employers and reduce retired workers' pensions. The reforms were subsequently reversed by the government, but the unrest has continued.
Protesters are calling for the removal of President Daniel Ortega and "democratization" through reforms in the electoral laws, such as advancing the elections. They also demand justice for the fallen victims, calling for an investigation into the violence.
Multiple social media posts on Monday showed university students clashing with armed groups at the National University of Engineering in Nicaragua, including posts from Guevara-Rosas and Nicaraguan human rights activist Bianca Jagger.
According to a witness statement sent to CNN by one of her associates, Jagger saw the conflict from across the street, witnessing armed groups attacking, followed by anti-riot police "shooting live ammunition with AK-47 assault rifles."