Every April 8 has been especially sad for the Conrado Dávila family for four years. They review the photographs, videos and experiences accumulated during the 15 years that his son Álvaro Conrado lived, born on that date and murdered in the April protests, which marked a before and after in the recent history of Nicaragua.
Almost four years after the crime, executed by snipers when the little boy distributed water to university students protesting against the regime in 2018, his father, of the same name, assures that “we will never forgive and we will never forget what they did to us . Sooner or later, they are going to pay.”
“For us, for this date, it is to remember what they did to us. For us it is four years so far and we have not forgotten the tragic moment that happened to us. And even more painful to know that there is no one, there are no culprits…”, says Conrado Sr. about one of the characteristics of the Ortega Murillo regime: impunity.
On April 8, remembered on social networks with congratulations to “Alvarito”, the teenager would have turned 19, he would already be a university student after graduating from the Loyola Institute, of the Jesuits. His father is sure “the dreams he had of studying, of being a professional, were cut short. All in a violent way.”
The young man was one of the more than 355 people -according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)- who died in 2018, as a result of the massacre unleashed by the dictatorship, upset that thousands of citizens took to the streets to demand justice and democracy.
Four years after that social explosion, which the Government disqualified by inventing the theory of a coup d’état, Álvaro’s father assures that his son “moved out of solidarity”, “he did it of his own free will, nobody forced him”.
“He was hidden from me, and what happened to him happened because we are in the hands of a government that does not accept criticism from anyone and at that moment, it made the decision, they were the ones who made the decision to shoot people and what happened What happened. Apart from Álvaro, more than 46 people died that weekend,” he stresses.
💙🖤 Álvaro Conrado Dávila was assassinated by the Ortega Murillo regime with a shot to the throat while distributing water to students. He would be 19 years old today. We remember his life and demand truth and justice💙🖤
Read here: https://t.co/obeZrFqByS#4YearsWithoutJustice #AMAyNoOlvida pic.twitter.com/J0t6FeRgYH
– April Mothers Association (AMA) (@MadresDeAbril) April 8, 2022
Regime does not allow meetings
Conrado is aware that the levels of repression have worsened in Nicaragua, and that the government maintains hate speech against people who oppose it. They do not accept criticism, and now it is worse. “They practically have us up against the wall, so if you raise your voice or go out to the streets protesting, they just throw you in jail and make up charges so you don’t go out,” he says.
As a member of the Mothers of April Association (AMA), which brings together the fathers and mothers of the April victims, Conrado explains that the government does not even allow meetings because the police immediately besiege the place. That reaction is an expression of the “fear” that the Government has of them, he considers him. He reiterates that his main demand is truth and justice, that there be investigative processes that show what really happened.
His fight for “truth and justice” remains intact. She knows that it is not an easy path and the answer is not expeditious either. Conrado has seen several relatives of April victims go into exile out of fear, harassment and the threat of jail, but they resist in the country.
“We are clear that as long as they -the presidential couple- are managing the entire structure of the country we are not going to have justice; We are not going to have internal justice until there is a radical change in everything, until then we could have the justice that we are waiting for”, he expressed.
“I don’t know how long it will last but I hope that God gives me life to be able to see (prosecuted) all those people who were involved in the murders of our children,” he said.
The IACHR has also confirmed that more than 100,000 people went into exile to escape Ortega’s repression. And in recent years, migration, both for political and economic reasons, has been increasing, caused a large displacement of citizens who do not find in the country controlled by Ortega and Rosario Murillo opportunities to improve their quality of life.