“They’ll Never Silence Me. I Demand Justice for My Son”

Carlos Pavon, father of Richard Pavon, the first to be killed during the April 2018 protests. Photo: Antonio Ramirez / Confidencial

Despite the constant harassment, the family of Richard Pavon hopes his death won’t be left in impunity. Richard Pavon was the first protester killed in April 2018.

By Franklin Villavicencio (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Carlos Pavon has been demanding justice for his son for the past two years and eight months. His son, Richard Pavon Bermudez, was killed in Tipitapa, Nicaragua, on April 19, 2018. “The D.A. filed the case in a drawer,” Carlos asserts.

Nevertheless, his home and family have been put under police siege on several different occasions. The last time was the weekend of December 5-6, the day after the National Police handed him a citation. Carlos Pavon was ordered to present himself “immediately” at the District 8 Police station. But he couldn’t comply, because the next day his house was surrounded by police officers.

“What they want, I think, is to shut us up. They want to intimidate us, to make us stay at home.” Pavon made these statements during an interview with the internet news program Esta Noche. He’s convinced that actions like these demonstrate the current judicial system’s lack of will to investigate cases like his son’s. “If they did so, our family wouldn’t be experiencing this type of harassment.”

Richard Pavon, killed on April 19th, was the first death registered during the social explosion that began on the 18th. Two others were killed that day: policeman Hilton Manzanares and Darwin Urbina. The case of Manzanares is the only one that was closed, with the identification of two supposedly guilty parties.

In the case of Richard Pavon, however, there hasn’t been any investigation at all. There was “only the smokescreen of wanting to do it, at the beginning.” The family members are convinced that the police know who was responsible. They never even received the forensic report from the medical examination done in the morgue.

Despite this desolate panorama, Pavon still holds onto the hope that his son’s killing won’t be left in impunity. He still hopes that someday they’ll find the guilty parties. “To me as the father, I think, reaffirm and maintain that they’re never going to silence me. Because the first thing I ask for is justice for my son, Richard Pavon.”

Constant harassment and zero investigation

Meanwhile, there’s been constant police presence around the Pavon house. On December 4th, the authorities came to Carlos Pavon’s house in Tipitapa to “give him a citation for an interview.”  The officials didn’t give him any information, merely handed him the document.

Pavon planned to attend the appointment on the following day, with lawyer Yonarqui Martinez. However, early in the morning, a Police pick-up full of officers surrounded his home. They searched those who left his yard. They didn’t present any legal orders, nor did they give any reason for the police cordon. “It was like they’d all gone mute, they just prostrated themselves there,” Pavon commented.

 Richard Pavon Bermudez, a 17-year-old student, killed in Tipitapa. Photo from Facebook / Confidencial

Pavon approached them and spoke directly in their faces.  “Wouldn’t it hurt you if your son was killed and afterwards they did this to you? Or maybe you’re a paramilitary. Speak!” But none responded. “Sometimes they hung their heads, sometimes no. There was one officer who had a diabolical stare.”

This behavior of the police, Pavon felt, lacked all logic. They had given him an appointment, and then they wouldn’t let him leave for more than six hours.

It’s not the first time that the Pavon family has been the victim of police harassment. In October 2019, there was a similar incident. Some fifteen police officers came onto the land where he resides and stayed there for some hours. They took photos and kept everyone from leaving. On that occasion, the family wanted to go to the municipal cemetery. They’d been planning to place a portrait on the vault where Richard is buried, to commemorate his birthday on October 29th.

The authorities became more hostile after the opening of the April Mothers’ Museum of Memory, Pavon stated. That museum, was open to the public between October and December of 2019. In it, some of the objects belonging to those assassinated during the 2018 protests were on display. Among these were the mallets that Ricardo Pavon used to play the drums.

“We commemorate each year, be it of his birth or of his death. That’s the only thing left us. I couldn’t tell you what their intention is, when they even lay siege to our son’s tomb,” Carlos Pavon declared.

Here’s the interview (in Spanish) with Carlos Pavón.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *