It’s been ten months since the last time that Richard Pavon Bermudez, Carlos Alberto Bonilla, and Alvaro Conrado woke up in the morning. Richard, 17, will never again practice with his school’s rhythm band; the bass drum that Carlos Alberto used to play doesn’t sound anymore; and Alvaro, 15, never got to participate in that track competition he had been preparing for.
Richard, Carlos Alberto, and Alvaro were the first three minors to be killed by the repression Daniel Ortega’s government chose to exercise against the April Rebellion. They’re the first three in a list that extends to at least 29 children and teens: the youngest victims of the killing.
The shot that killed Ricardo hit him in the chest, but his father, Cesar Pavon, assures that “they riddled him with bullets.” On the night of April 20, 2018, when Pavon entered the hospital room in Tipitapa where his son’s body lay, he fell on him and amid the tears counted nine bullet wounds: the one in the chest that killed him; another in his right hand; one that penetrated his mouth and exited through his cheek; another on one of his shoulders; and five in the back.
Richard had gone to check out a protest demonstration near the city park. He was shot three meters from the Managua mayor’s office. Some of the witnesses point to the City Hall security guards, and others to the police.
Ten months later, no one has been detained or investigated for Richard’s murder. Nor for that of Carlos Alberto, who received a bullet to his forehead; nor that of Alvaro, who was giving out water to the university students who were under siege from the police, when he was hit by a bullet that blasted his throat. It hurts to breathe, he said, and his words became part of the clamor of those demanding freedom, justice and democracy for Nicaragua.
Like Richard, Carlos Alberto and Alvaro, another 21 minors were killed by well-aimed bullets to their heads, chest, throats or stomachs. The precision shots to kill ordered by the dictatorship for the police and paramilitary didn’t exempt children and adolescents. In their memory, as we mark ten months from the April rebellion, Niu has compiled a list of the names and ages of the youngest mortal victims of the repression.
The largest number of assassinated minors were killed in June, during the so-called “Operation Clean-Up” carried out by the police and paramilitary groups.
Four minors were killed during these first protests registered in Managua, Masay, Tipitapa and Ciudad Sandino:
Richard Bermudez Pavon, 17
Carlos Alberto Bonilla, 15
Jose Abraham Amador, 15
Alvaro Conrado Davila, 15
Jessner was killed by a bullet to the chest. His family were forced to sign a letter in which they agreed to desist from any formal denunciations; to the contrary, they wouldn’t be allowed to receive the body. The altered medical cause of death form stated: death by stab wound.
Three other minors were killed that month:
Jesner Josue Rivas, 16
Gilberto Sanchez Garcia, 15
Jose Luis Aleman Mendieta, 16
With the implementation of “Operation Clean-Up” the dictator’s repression increased as the police and paramilitary dismantled the barricades put up by the population. At least 18 minors were killed that month.
Orlando Aguirre Cordoba, 15
Geovany Mena, 17
Junior Steven Gaitan Lopez, 15
Elías Josue Sanchez Cuesta, 17
Jose Maltez, 14
Cesar Vega Lopez, 15
Abraham Antonio Castro, 17
Nitzia Hackins Polly, 15
Sandor Manuel Dolmus Pineda, 15
Eliezer Isaac Collado, 17
Matías Velasquez Raudez, 05
Daryeli Velasquez Raudez, 3
Juan Carlos Mejia Moreno, 17
Layhani Nohelia Real Sanchez, 11
Kevin Alexander Gonzalez, 17
Teyler Lorio Navarrete, 15
Wendel Rivera Narvaez, 17
Franklin Roberto Rodriguez Garcia, 17
The last cities where they dismantled the roadblocks and barricades were Masaya and Jinotega. In each one of those cities, a minor was killed in July.
Keibel Bermudez Flores, 7 años
Bryan Ezequiel Flores, 15 años
Leyting Chavarria Perez, 16 años
The last minor to perish was killed on September 23, during a march to demand freedom for the political prisoners.
Matt Andres Romero, 16