Nicaragua government open to negotiating reforms as protest death toll rises to 9
Dozens of others have been injured or arrested in protests over social security reforms in various cities
Nicaragua's government says it is willing to negotiate over controversial social security reforms that have prompted protests and deadly clashes this week.
Vice-president, first lady and government spokesperson Rosario Murillo says nine people have been killed in the unrest. She calls the protests "cruel."
Dozens of others have been injured or arrested in the chaos in various cities across the Central American nation.
The protests started after the government increased payroll taxes and changed pensions to try to shore up Nicaragua's troubled social security system.
Murillo said late Friday that President Daniel Ortega's government is responding to calls for dialogue made by Roman Catholic Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes and by the private business sector.
She added that the social security reforms "are not concluded proposals, but [rather] we are open to discussing them."