A demonstrator shouts slogans behind a banner reading in Spanish: "Release of our farmers Political prisoners" and "Nicaragua: Justice" during a protest against the Nicaraguan government in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 12, 2019.
A demonstrator shouts slogans behind a banner reading in Spanish: "Release of our farmers Political prisoners" and "Nicaragua: Justice" during a protest against the Nicaraguan government in Madrid, Spain, Jan. 12, 2019.

MANAGUA, NICARAGUA - The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has released dozens of people arrested in a last year's crackdown on street protests.

The releases came just hours before talks between the government and opponents are scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Rights groups estimate that at least 770 people have been arrested in relation to anti-government protests that broke out last April.

Several vans carrying people in inmates' uniforms left the Modelo prison in Managua. Families and lawyers of several prisoners said the released inmates had turned up at their homes. However, there was no clear information on the number released.

Some of the inmates waved small Nicaraguan flags, a frequent gesture in last year's protests. Government supporters prefer the red-and-black banners of Ortega's Sandinista party.

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