Six years after the death of Álvaro Conrado, Nicaragua still "hurts to breathe"

Six years after the death of Álvaro Conrado, Nicaragua still “hurts to breathe”

On the morning of April 20, 2018, Álvaro Manuel Conrado Dávila He rose with the aim of attending the civic protests in Managua, which had already been “shaking” the entire country for three days. Although his parents had told him that “I wasn’t old enough to do that”the young man’s nature of helping others prevented him from ignoring the voice of the people to demand justice and democracy from a mute, blind and deaf dictatorship.

Dressed in blue jeans and a red striped jacket, “Alvarito,” as he was known by his loved ones, waited for his father to go to work and then left his house, along with two friends, heading to a student concentration that was taking place. They were demonstrating around the National University of Engineering (UNI).

The atmosphere that remained was suffocating and overwhelming for the students, since the National Police and Ortega paramilitaries had taken over the top floor of the Dennis Martínez National Stadium. From above, they “shot to kill” the unarmed Protestants, who tried to defend themselves and flee from the incessant gunfire.

Related news: Daughter of Álvaro Conrado: “My father worked so that my brother got the justice he deserved”

Being small, agile and a renowned athlete from the Loyola Institute, Alvarito was in charge of carrying bottles of water and baking soda, which served to counteract the effects of the tear gas bombs launched by the repressive forces. The young man had to enter the danger zones and, “like lightning,” leave again to bring more supplies to the Protestants.

However, the young man’s will and solidarity was torturously extinguished when a firearm projectile hit his neck, leaving behind serious injuries to his trachea and esophagus. Alvarito, 15, fell to the ground and, almost immediately, a group of students came to help him.

«It hurts me to breathe! “It hurts to breathe!” the young man exclaimed, while the university students tried to calm him down and assured him that everything would be fine. In videos broadcast on social networks, you can hear how Alvarito, with difficulty, managed to pronounce his first and last name so that everyone who heard him knew who he was and would not forget him.

Six years after the death of Álvaro Conrado, Nicaragua still "hurts to breathe"Six years after the death of Álvaro Conrado, Nicaragua still "hurts to breathe"
A protester trying to stop the blood that Alvarito was spitting out of his mouth.

One of the people who was at the march offered his van to take the young man to the Cruz Azul hospital, located five minutes from the UNI. But when the doctors noticed the blue and white scarves on the necks and heads of the protesters, they refused to treat Alvarito who was fighting with all his might to stay alive and who asked the protesters to “not let him sleep.”

Without wasting time, the Protestants took the boy to the Baptist hospital, where he was received. The doctors passed tthree and a half hours attending to Alvarito, but they couldn’t save his life. The surgeon in charge of the operation told the family that the young man “he bled to death” and? “He could have survived if he had received medical assistance at the first hospital.”

The death of the student Alvarito Conrado shook the entire country and thousands of protesters used the phrase of the “child martyr” as an emblem for the struggle and freedom, demanding that justice be done in his case and that crimes against humanity be stopped. In Nicaragua.

Alvarito, the young man who died helping

Alvarito Conrado was in his fourth year of high school. According to the information provided in the AMA and No Olvida Virtual Museum, He was an outstanding student for “his academic performance, his solidarity with his classmates and his participation in sports and cultural activities.” The young man took guitar lessons from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays he attended English classes.

The boy had a lot of endurance, a skill that had allowed him to win three medals in 200 and 400 meter races. «As he was the smallest on the team, he competed with older young people who always beat him. If he came in second place, his teacher told him not to worry, because when he competed with others his age he would be prepared to win.

Álvaro José Conrado Avendaño, the young man’s father, told the Museum that when Alvarito graduated from high school, he wanted to apply for a scholarship to study at the Central American University (UCA). “He thought of studying accounting because he was good at mathematics, he liked physics and he had no problems with chemistry,” said the father.

Six years after the death of Álvaro Conrado, Nicaragua still "hurts to breathe"Six years after the death of Álvaro Conrado, Nicaragua still "hurts to breathe"
The Loyola Institute immortalized Alvarito’s fight in a monument and an athletics track. Photo: Javier Ruiz | Niú Magazine.

His mom, Lizeth Dávila Orozco, He mentioned that Alvarito’s second option was to study Law, “because he argued and defended what he believed was right.” «He always wanted to be right, no one beat him. His friends told him that he should study that career because he was talkative and argumentative,” he added.

In his free time, Álvaro liked to ride a skateboard, play video games, and watch anime. She was also a big fan of Harry Potter, her parents said that she “knew all eight films by heart and rewatched them constantly.”

Dávila Orozco described his son as “a fairly humble boy, he was not demanding and cared about his friends, when he saw them sad, he encouraged them. He was smiling, supportive, ‘talkative’ and the teacher told him that he was a ‘mass-raiser’, because he always spoke and discussed in class what she proposed. “He defended his ideals and his weakest ones and helped his classmates who had difficulties to do well in class.”

Related news: CALIDH holds the Nicaraguan regime responsible for the death of Don Álvaro Conrado

One of the reasons why Alvarito decided to join the civic protests was because “he got upset when he saw on television that they were beating the old people and asked why they were doing that.” “He thought about his grandmother and became very uncomfortable,” said his mother.

To date, the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo continues not to take responsibility for the death of the young man and the more than 350 Nicaraguans who were murdered during the sociopolitical outbreak of 2018. Six years after his death, the voice of Alvarito Conrado resonates in the minds and hearts of the population, as a reminder that Nicaragua “It still hurts to breathe.”

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