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Pinita Gurdian, mother and grandmother of former political prisoners, dies in Managua

Pinita Gurdian was the mother of Ana Margarita Vijil and grandmother of Tamara Davila. She founded "Pasteleria Margarita" and was known for her cooking

Pinita Gurdian

María Josefina Guardian, affectionately known as "Doña Pinita". Photo: Taken from La Prensa

Redacción Confidencial

28 de agosto 2023


María Josefina Gurdian de Vijil passed away this Sunday afternoon, August 27, 2023, reported by sources close to her family. The businesswoman, affectionately known as Pinita Gurdian, was the widow of Miguel Ernesto Vijil, former Minister of Housing in the 80s, and the mother and grandmother of former political prisoners Ana Margarita Vijil and Tamara Dávila, respectively.

The wake in honor of “Pinita” will be held this Monday, August 28 from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Monte los Olivos Funeral Home, in Managua. A funeral mass will be held there. The funeral will be at 3:00 p.m. at the Guadalupe Cemetery, in Leon.

Pinita Gurdian was the mother of Josefina, Virginia, Ana Margarita, Miguel, Francisco and Félix Vijil Gurdian.

She taught cooking for more than 50 years and became popular for her TV program “Cocinando con Pinita” (Cooking with Pinita). The businesswoman published a dozen recipe books and founded the “Pastelería Margarita,” with several branches in Managua.

She was prevented from seeking medical attention

According to sources, Pinita Gurdian died of a sudden heart attack. She had been battling ovarian cancer since 2019 and underwent several chemotherapy processes. Despite her illness, the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo prohibited her from leaving Nicaragua to seek medical treatment abroad. 


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On September 2, 2021, Pinita Gurdian tried to travel to Costa Rica by land to undergo a medical examination, but the regime’s police prevented her from doing so. At the Peñas Blancas border post, Nicaraguan immigration authorities took away her passport and that of a daughter who accompanied her.

“I could not continue my trip because they took away our passports, passports that have not been returned to us. It is a totally arbitrary act. Why would they detain me? I was going to travel for health reasons, but aside from that, why would they detain me if I am a free person? I have the right to leave, I have the right to walk in freedom,” Pinita Gurdian said in an interview with CONFIDENCIAL in 2021. She inquired about her identity documents on several occasions since then, but authorities were not able to explain why she could not leave the country.

Unable to travel abroad for specialized examinations, “the only thing I could do is visit my oncologist-gynecologist here, but that doesn’t allow me to find out if I have cancerous cells in my body,” the businesswoman lamented at the time.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff.


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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.