Nicaragua’s leading business association says the country’s economy is in “free fall” a year after anti-government protests were violently repressed by the government and its supporters.

Guillermo Jacoby, an official of the Superior Council of Private Business, said Wednesday “we thought we were on the precipice, but the latest figures show that we lost our footing and are in free fall.”

Sectors such as tour operators, auto dealers and medical equipment providers have seen their sales off 77.5%, 75% and 53.5%, respectively in the past year.

Protests began in April 2018 against cuts to the social security system, but quickly spread to other grievances against the government of President Daniel Ortega.

According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, at least 325 people were killed in the government crackdown.

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