Relatives of the victims killed amid Nicaragua's 2018 mass anti-government protests reiterated their demand for “justice without impunity” for the 355 people who died because of the Ortega-Murillo regime’s repression, as reported by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
The demand was presented during the tribute “Traces of the Rebellion”, held on Saturday, May 28, in San Jose, Costa Rica. The group, “Friends of the Mothers of April”, organized the event in support of the joint day of action announced by relatives of the victims, in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the May 30, 2018, Mother’s Day massacre, in which 19 people were killed amid the violence unleashed by the regime.
Some of the victims’ relatives who participated in the tribute were: Susana Lopez, mother of Gerald Vásquez; Sofía Mayorga, grandmother of Noel Calderón and mother-in-law of Humberto Parrales; Azucena López, mother of Érick Jiménez López; and Martha Lira, mother of Ezequiel Mendoza.
“They are not going to silence us. We will continue to struggle to end the Ortega-Murillo regime,' Mayorga, a relative of two of the victims of the 2018 protests, said during the tribute. 'We continue to petition and raise our voices to demand justice without impunity.”
“In times of impunity, to remember the victims is to keep the call for justice alive,” emphasized Martha Lira, mother of Ezequiel Mendoza, murdered on June 14, 2018.
“In each activity we will pay tribute to our children. Keeping their memory alive is a form of resistance. When he was dying my son said: 'Don’t forget me!' As a mother I’m going to be present at every activity, as a way of remembering,” she said.
In the tribute, more than 40 pairs of shoes representing the victims who can no longer walk as a result of the Ortega-Murillo regime's repression were on display. There were also photographs and lists with the names of the more than 300 people killed in the 2018 protests.
Other victims' relatives joined the tribute via Zoom and reiterated the demand for justice without impunity.
Sara López, mother of victim Cruz Alberto Obregon, recalled that her son was murdered on May 30, 2018, and said that every year on that date, Mother's Day in Nicaragua, “there is nothing to celebrate.” Instead of celebrating, she added, the victims' families are denouncing that “four years have already passed without getting justice”.
“This is not a party. It is a date of national mourning for the bloodshed that day when the dictator murdered 19 people,” she said.
In addition, she stressed that as relatives they continue resisting and that the Ortega regime needs to know that “our children were the seeds that will soon bear fruit, and mothers will not be silent until we have a free, democratic Nicaragua, where there is no repression and where justice reigns.”
“Nicaragua Is in Mourning”
On May 16, the Association of Mothers of April (AMA) called for May 30, Nicaraguan Mother's Day, to be declared a day of national mourning. It was on this day four years ago that the Ortega-Murillo regime attacked what was known as the “Mothers’ March' for victims of state repression.
AMA’s proposal was made in response to the initiative promoted by the head of the National Assembly, government-aligned deputy Gustavo Porras, to declare Nicaraguan Mother’s Day a national holiday. On May 18, the Sandinista-aligned deputies approved his initiative.
“In the face of the dictatorship declaring May 30 a national holiday, let’s declare it a Day of National Mourning,” the organization proposed in a statement published via Twitter.
Organizations of Nicaraguans who are in exile in Costa Rica and the United States have announced activities for this weekend in support of the call for “national mourning” made by the relatives of the murdered victims of 2018.