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"I Don't Talk About Politics With Anyone, Not Even My Family"

Francisca was a journalist but left her profession in 2018 due to safety concerns. Most of her friends and many family members left the country

Periodista que ejerció hasta 2018 cuenta cómo sobrevive en Nicaragua


Redacción Confidencial

23 de abril 2024


In 2018, I had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, high school classmates and people I worked out with at the gym. I felt like we had the opportunity to reconnect over something in common, which was the civic struggle. We would go pick up food to drop off to young people who were barricaded.

But when the repression began, I was basically left with no friends. 

Some of my friends left the country for economic reasons, and others for political reasons. Although I am in contact with them, their situations are now very different and we don't talk hardly at all. 

My personal relationships are now with my immediate family, two women friends, an acquaintance, and an ex-boyfriend with whom I speak occasionally. 

The current situation in the country is not very good for building trust with new people, because you can't sit down and talk openly. 

Even in my own family, in 2018 we decided to stop talking about politics, especially because one of my brothers, who worked until recently in a public institution, was a radical supporter of the government. Even though he got fired, didn't even get the severance pay he was owed, and still can't find a job, he doesn't dare criticize the government. And then across the street from us, one of my uncles was a radical opponent of the government. So for everyone's mental health we decided to not talk about politics.

I think this kind of thing has happened to lots of people. I notice it, for example, when I travel in a taxi and I hear the driver criticize the government. If I'm alone in the car with the driver, or even if there's another passenger, nobody follows up on that line of conversation.

I was a journalist, but there was a time when I felt I had to hide that fact. When I started working for an NGO, I made sure that my neighbors knew that I was no longer a journalist. At that time there was a family of activists with the [FSLN-controlled] Citizens' Power Councils. I invited their children to the recreational activities that we organized in my new job, so that I could get rid of the label of journalist by making sure they knew I was doing something else now. 

This article was published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff. To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.


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Redacción Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.