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Thousands fleeing violence in Nicaragua after deadly crackdown on protests

Political crisis in Nicaragua continues

The United Nations says thousands of people are fleeing political violence and rights violations in Nicaragua after weeks of deadly protests against the government. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called on other nations Tuesday to help Costa Rica, which has had to handle thousands of requests for asylum.

The office said Costa Rica is receiving about 200 asylum applications per day. Costa Rica says nearly 8,000 Nicaraguans have filed asylum claims since anti-government protests began in April.

Nearly 450 people have been killed since protests started, according to the Nicaraguan Pro-Human Rights Association. The U.S. and U.N. have condemned President Daniel Ortega's regime and blamed them for the violence.

CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez, who just returned to the U.S. from Nicaragua, says some protesters are hoping for more help from the international community.

"Every time that we asked somebody what is it going to take for a peaceful resolution to this or at least a resolution to it, they say international pressure," Bojorquez said. "Not only the sanctions and trying to tighten some of the money around the Ortegas, but also people to pay attention and say we have to do something about this."

Hundreds protest against Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega

Ortega has governed Nicaragua for 22 of the last 39 years, increasingly amassing more power, critics say. His wife is the vice president and other family members hold key positions. Ortega has refused to step down or hold early elections.

"He says he will not leave because he was rightfully elected by the people of Nicaragua, and there are many people there who also very much believe that and say, wait until 2021, wait until the elections," Bojorquez said. "But again, there are a lot of people on the other side, these protesters say we are dying under this regime, what they call it regime, and they would like the change to happen much before then."

Bojorquez reports some protesters are now in hiding because they say they're still being targeted and jailed on trumped up charges. However there have also been demonstrations in favor of Ortega.

Bojorquez was supposed to interview Ortega on Tuesday, but the interview was canceled. CBS News was told something came up in the president's schedule.

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