The shootings by the police Wednesday prompted outrage.
“The demonstration was peaceful,” said Juan Sebastián Chamorro, a negotiator on the national dialogue committee. “There were children there. It was a peaceful manifestation that ended up with people shot in the head and killed deliberately by snipers.”
Guillermina Zapata, 63, said protesters had told her that the bullet that hit her son, Francisco Javier Reyes Zapata, 34, came from a sharpshooter perched on the top of the national baseball stadium. Mr. Reyes was struck in the eye and died, she said.
“They have to go,” Ms. Zapata said of the president and his wife, Rosario Murillo, who is also the vice president. “He is a murderer, and a murderer cannot continue to govern Nicaragua. They have to leave. I believe that dialogue is no longer an option. That’s sitting down to talk with the devil, who is killing the people.”
As the peace talks started two weeks ago, student protesters, in a televised spectacle, interrupted, chanting the names of the dead.
The talks stalled when the government insisted that roadblocks put up by demonstrators be taken down, which committee members took as a stalling tactic, Mr. Chamorro said.
The crisis began on April 19 in Managua, the capital, when the government made changes to the social security system that would have raised workers’ contributions and cut retirees’ pensions. Students at universities in the capital picketed on their campuses, and were met by mobs of government supporters who attacked them.