Nicaraguan Vice President and government spokesperson Rosario Murillo, in her discourse on Tuesday, June 2, read off a list of 22 dead FSLN members. A number of media outlets assumed that her list was made up of FSLN members who had died recently as a consequence of the COVID-19 health crisis. In fact, nineteen of them were Sandinista guerrilla fighters who had been killed in the departments of Chinandega, Jinotega and Chontales on June 2-3, 1979, as Confidencial confirmed.
The reading of the names of these deceased caused confusion among the media outlets, who thought it was a list of recent deaths that could be related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Murillo read the names of the dead from 1979, immediately after announcing and confirming the very recent deaths of the mayor of Masaya, Orlando Noguera; the president of the national Telecommunications and Post Office Institute, Orlando Castillo; and the former mayor of the town of El Cua, Fermin Cuadra. The latter died from complications of diabetes, according to Murillo, who didn’t speak of the causes of death of Castillo and Noguera.
“Today, they’re giving homage to a number of companeros who were killed by the National Guard today, the 2nd, and we’re also giving homage to our comrades who have left their mark on the life of our people in the last years, as cultural promotors, as promotors and mayors, as revolutionary promotors,” said Murillo.
Anniversary of Sandinista deaths
Of the 19 dead mentioned by the vice president, 13 were youth whose lives were truncated by Somoza’s National Guard 41 years ago in the neighborhood of La Cruz in Chinandega. They’re remembered every year by those close to the Sandinista Front in that department, and by their families, who were accustomed to commemorating their “historic gesture” each year. A monument in their honor marks the site where they were killed.
Murillo mentioned that they were remembering these 19 in Chinandega: Silvia Marlene Ramírez, Bayardo Salinas, Ramón Pereira, Óscar Ponce, Óscar Molina, Ramón Salvatierra, Mariano Chávez, Denis Mayorga, Rudy Mayorga, Ricardo Baca, César Ramón Juárez, Narciso Mendoza and Narciso Izaguirre.
“Our love to all of them, all the companeros that have gone before us light our way, they’re a Sun that doesn’t go down. Honor and glory to all our comrades,” Murillo insisted.
She also mentioned the names of Salvador Montiel, from Chichigalpa; Pablo Arteaga, from El Viejo; and Ramón Isaac Meléndez and Fausto Ramón Gutiérrez Sevilla from Acoyapa, all towns and communities near Chinandega.