Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega has taken center stage at a huge rally rejecting the extremist violence rocking the country, declaring: "This evening, this march of various kilometers, we are full of love, we are here to combat and bury hatred."
As Nicaragua readies itself to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, Ortega said, "The people have one objective: peace."
"Work, progress, dignity. To be free and to no longer be enslaved, that is what the people want," he told the assembled crowd of thousands on July 7 in Managua, the capital.
"There are those who wish to put the chains back on the nation. There are those who believe that because the majority of the nation is a nation of workers, honest and humble, they confuse humility with ignorance.
"We are a humble but brave people. In these weeks, in these next couple of days, we unleash once again, a battle for peace."
Extreme acts of violence by the right-wing opposition have brought parts of Nicaragua to a near standstill since April, when protests over social reforms were co-opted by radical groups calling for Ortega to be ousted.
At least 214 people have been killed so far, according to the recently formed Truth, Justice and Peace Commission.
During his speech, Ortega accused coup plotters of "terrorist acts" and financing violent crime, and reiterated the government's commitment to peace.
"In these marches, we do not see expressions of hate," he said. "We see expressions of dignity, solidarity, and a complete compromise to the fight for peace that will benefit all Nicaraguans."