HAVANA TIMES – A month ago Moises Ariel Davila thought he would die in front of his children. He was about to cross the Rio Grande to touch US soil when he was intercepted by a group of armed men who mistook him for a human trafficker or coyote in Nicaragua or a pollero in Mexico.
“They pointed a gun at my head and before putting a black hood over my head they told me: ‘now you are in deep shit.’ A companion approached the person who was pointing a gun at my head and told him: this dude is not him; he is with his family.” Davila told 100% Noticias that he experienced moments of terror.
Although the water was freezing cold, he did not care, his greatest anguish was to bleed to death in the middle of the river, in front of his three children, all of them minors.
He recalls that, in his attempt to overcome his nervousness, he managed to clarify that his intention was to cross the Rio Grande to turn himself in to the border patrol.
“They told me to go on and jump in before I regret it.”
So, he was released and as he swam the men fired into the water, but no bullets hit his body, miraculously.
It was December 21 when this 27-year-old man came back to life. He feels that only a miracle could have saved him from bleeding to death in front of his children: Zadiel, Edith and Ariel, 9, 7, and 4 years old, respectively.
“My trip to the United States lasted three months, but I feel grateful to God for having taken care of my family and me from so much danger along the way.”
Crossing Mexico turned into an ordeal for Moises Dávila
He was not only subjected to high temperatures, but he also slept on the streets of Mexico and begged to feed his family after running out of money in Guatemala.
“I had to beg until I reached Palenque, Chiapas.”
This Nicaraguan recounts that when he arrived in Mexico he organized with other Central American and Haitian immigrants to carry out the march “SOS Human Rights” in Chiapas. The marchers themselves appointed him as leader of the activity.
“We were 86 undocumented people in the caravan, and we were all given humanitarian visas to be able to advance without problems until we reached the border with the United States.”
For the past 4 years his life has been limited to escaping death threats he received in Nicaragua after participating in the 2018 anti-governmental protests.
“Fleeing has been hard. I prefer to be in my country eating beans than to be on the run. I prefer to live in freedom.”
Moises went into exile in Costa Rica. However, he continued to receive threats and took them seriously when his friend Joao Maldonado was gunned down in San Jose.
On September 11, 2021, local media reported that Nicaraguan activist Joao Maldonado was shot three times in the arm and abdomen from unknown motorists. The incident took place in Escazú, west of the Costa Rican capital.
According to testimony from relatives, Maldonado, 32, needed surgery to recover. At the time of the attack this young Nicaraguan was an asylum seeker in Costa Rica after escaping from the Operation Cleanup in 2018.
Maldonado was accused by the Ortega Murillo regime of leading the “death roadblocks in Carazo,” for which he decided to go into exile that same year.
He received threats after his exile
It was last September 27 that Moises Davila was overwhelmed by the lack of safety and decided to leave Costa Rica to go to the United States with his family and with US $400 in his pocket.
He had received threatening messages through social networks, threats that included surveillance of his family.
“You idiot. Now you are a preacher. We monitor you from several Facebooks. We went to visit you at INVU, very nice by the way,” wrote user Esmeralda.
On his telephone he saves the threatening images.
“I will do it, you Matagalpino. I will burn you alive. Because I am your worst nightmare, and I am going to break you. 100% FSLN. I’ll see you around,” Panda sentenced him.
They all lash out at him for being an opponent of the Ortega-Murillo regime.
“Imbecile. We got you out running from the 3M and don’t get Don Omar involved, you are a little shitty bastard, roadblock maker, coup-plotter, murderer, thief. The day that we catch you, you will know that you don’t play around with the FSLN,” wrote Olga Davila in a private message.
Tired of threats against him and his family, Moises left Costa Rica that year. He quit his job at “Frutos del Tropico.”
He received US $400 in severance pay and used it for the trip to the United States. His former employers helped him during the journey, which took almost 90 days.
“I had no options and could not turn back. It was to live or die and I chose to look out for the welfare of my family.”
From heaven to hell
Moises Dávila knows what it feels like to be praised by the followers of Daniel Ortega’s regime and also to be hated.
In March 2018, his coworkers filmed him and uploaded to the networks a video in which Moises Davila dressed in the uniform of Cubas Electricas narrated a supposed baseball game, the narration included commercial advertising.
The video of the northerner went viral in a short time and some of the pro-government media titled it: “talent from Matagalpa.”
With his mischievousness, this young man from the San Isidro municipality of Matagalpa had awakened great social interest.
He recalls that he was offered jobs in pro-government radio and television stations, but a month later, the protests exploded in Nicaragua and Davila rejected all proposals and preferred to continue working as a bus fare collector.
In April of that year, he joined the demonstrations and participated in the roadblocks in Matagalpa, exactly at the exit to Managua.
He assures that he has an arrest warrant in the country for having participated in these barricades.
Although Davila went into exile twice in Costa Rica, he says that he tried to return to Nicaragua and resume his normal life, but it was impossible due to the constant persecution by the paramilitaries in Matagalpa.
Currently, this Nicaraguan lives in Dallas, Texas, with his family. He has been wearing a shackle on his left foot since he arrived in the United States on December 22, and it will be until May that it will possibly be removed. Moises Davila is awaiting an immigration process in which he wishes to be granted asylum.
“My only purpose is to raise my children and continue in the democratic struggle through social networks.”
Since to do citizens reporting it is not necessary to be a professional journalist, Moises founded the page Journalism Without a Barrier on Facebook, where he creates informative content.
He adds that he feels reassured to work for his family and to be able to give his children a new opportunity.
Although for now, he wears a GPS on his ankle that indicates his location in real time, he feels free and is finally starting to feel that he has stopped running away.
“Here (in the US) life is not the same, but you can feel the freedom and I know I don’t have to run away,” he concluded.