Nicaragua: Mothers of April: “We do not Forget or Forgive”

They demand to be in the dialogue and reject the possibility of negotiating the death of their children.

28 de febrero 2019


The Association “Mothers of April” does not rule out appealing to the international courts to achieve justice. But, before that, they trust that the Nicaraguan State can satisfy their claim…even if nobody has invited them to participate in the national dialogue which held its first preliminary meeting on Wednesday, February 27.

“We are waiting a for a strong position from the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy. The Alliance should not believe that it has a blank check to negotiate the specific issues of the people,” says Francys Valdivia, President of the Association, in reference to their main claim to obtain justice.

“We hope that the Civic Alliance will give us an answer, and we wait for a forceful position when the issues to be negotiated are known. We hope they do not turn their back on the people, who have an absolute need for truth and justice,” she added.

The interviewee regretted that, “as an Association, we have not been invited to any previous meeting, but we have set our position before a possible restart of the dialogue. We do not conceive that a dialogue will be installed without the direct participation of us, relatives of the people assassinated,” she reiterated.

Valdivia reports that they do not know which issues will be addressed, nor the mechanism to be followed, or the process that was used to select those who will sit down to negotiate with the Government of Daniel Ortega, but they insist that they must be “direct interlocutors,” and that it must established what the mechanism will be to provide justice, and that it be a real and objective justice.

In this regard, she said that they accept the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and those of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI in Spanish), in the sense of “creating a special prosecutor’s office, through a truth commission that is real, in which the relatives of murdered persons have participation.”

Real Justice

The Association understand that, for this, it is necessary to “define the mechanisms in the national and international levels, applying universal justice… We are going to exhaust each and every one of the national and international instances. We aspire not to have to appear before an international court, if the investigations and process be carried out within Nicaragua,” she said.

But this is not about any process. We, mothers, “want truth, justice, and an integral reparation: a real justice, not cosmetic. That is fulfilled with what the law defines as justice,” demanded Valdivia.

The murder of our children, brothers and husbands continues in impunity. The cases are filled away, with absolutely no willingness to clarify the facts, or to impart justice,” she reiterated.

Therefore, they demand from the State “to rescue and dignify the memory of our relatives, because none of them were criminals: they were young people, students, with a future ahead of them. They were hard-working people, they went out to exercise their right to protest, to demonstrate, and were lethally repressed, killed.”

The mothers and relatives of the victims feel that the process begins with the recognition of their murdered relatives, because the Government has excluded them, “and they do not even recognize the murder of our relatives,” she pointed out.

Faced with this insensitive attitude, the mother’s reaction is that “we do not forget. We do not reconcile, and we do not forgive. For there to be a reconciliation process, there must first be an acknowledgment of the acts committed. There cannot be a clean slate and a fresh start without having assumed the relevant responsibilities,” she said.

“We will do everything legally and humanly possible to fight and find truth and justice. We will not accept any cosmetic solution, nor to begin anew as if nothing happened. First there must be an acknowledgment of the crimes committed, accompanied by truth and justice. That is the only way,” she summarized.

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Iván Olivares

Periodista nicaragüense, exiliado en Costa Rica. Durante más de veinte años se ha desempeñado en CONFIDENCIAL como periodista de Economía. Antes trabajó en el semanario La Crónica, el diario La Prensa y El Nuevo Diario. Además, ha publicado en el Diario de Hoy, de El Salvador. Ha ganado en dos ocasiones el Premio a la Excelencia en Periodismo Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal, en Nicaragua.