“For us, the children born there [on the barricade] were like a miracle, like hope, because the government wanted to take our lives and we helped others enter this world,” – Isamar Javiera Molina Medrano
By Mynor Garcia La Prensa
HAVANA TIMES – Isamar Javiera Molina Medrano, 24, hoped to go into marketing, but the repression unleashed by Ortega repression beginning last April 18th ended her dream.
Molina was in the second year of her university studies, but after the attempted reforms to the Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security (INSS), she decided to take to the streets to demonstrate. Later, having raised her voice against the dictatorship forced her into exile in Costa Rica.
“I am against social injustice and my father is retired and I knew that [the cut in pensions] would affect him, so I joined the demonstrations on April 19,” she says.
At the beginning of the protests, she carried the Nicaraguan flag and a banner to express her repudiation of the regime, but by the end of April she was armed with a homemade mortar. “We couldn’t move without something (to protect us), because the Sandinistas were always looking to repress us once we were out on the streets. Many people were beaten,” she says. In June, she left her home and settled in at the barricades at the San José School, which became her second home. She says her parents didn’t want her to speak out against the dictatorship, because they feared the worst. Molina is the mother of a four-year-old girl.
“They asked me to stop protesting — for my daughter, because if something happened to me, she was going to be left alone, but I decided to continue so that she would grow up in a free country – and also for my own future. We can not continue like this, ” she laments.
Doctor by coincidence
Molina says she had no knowledge of medicine, much less how to attend a birth. However, due to the multiple attacks on protesters by the Ortega regime’s paramilitaries, as the number of victims at the San José roadblock increased, she ended up having to offer aide to to many of the injured protesters, and also assisted in the births of four babies born on the barricades.
“I helped clean the women during the births and I also dressed the babies that were born there,” she says. “That made a big impact on me, because I never studied anything about medicine. I feel that in the end I helped save lives. For us, the children born there were like a miracle, like hope, because the government wanted to take our lives and we helped others enter this world. It was like a divine sign,” she says.
Four hours of attack
Molina recalls that on June 12, during one of the armed attacks, she went to rest at the security house near the exit for the town of Jinotepe. The protesters were sleeping on the floor or on mats. At around 4:00 am, she received several text messages advising her that the barricades were being attacked. “I grabbed my mortar, I put on my shoes and someone on a motorcycle gave me a ride,” she says. The attack lasted at least four hours. In this confrontation, two paramilitaries , Guillermo Méndez and Marcos Gutiérrez died. Méndez was known to have worked in the City Hall of Dolores and Gutiérrez belonged to the Association of Retired Military (AMIR). Several protesters were also injured in the attack.
Her escape to Costa Rica
On July 9, Molina was in Jinotepe, where police were all over the streets. Still, she managed to escape with another woman in a taxi to Granada. Four days later, with a number of other protesters, she crossed the border into Costa Rica. Her daughter was left in the care of her parents and her ex-partner. She and the other protesters requested political asylum at the Immigration Office on the Costa Rican border.
Molina slept on the floor there for three days, and was in a shelter for more than two weeks, when she and her current partner decided to rent a room. She now has a work permit, and survives by selling atolillo and arroz de leche, as well as handicrafts. Her partner works at a hardware store.
Leaving the country and her family, particularly her daughter, was a very difficult decision to make. “Whether you are near or far, you never stop being a mom and every moment I am thinking about my daughter and my family. For my safety, I knew I had to leave the country,” she says. Her dream is to be able to return to Nicaragua, reunite with her family and return to her studies.