Silence, While Nicaragua Screams

Illustration by Maria Xavier Gutierrez / Urban woman blog

For half a year I haven’t written anything, and there is so much to say about my country, Nicaragua, that I cannot find the first word to narrate the massacre.


By Maria Xavier Gutierrez  (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Silence is healing, especially when you do not know what to say, what to think, what to do, or simply when you want to be yourself. When I am silent, surrounded by nothingness, everything happens, ideas pop up, I eat the answers, I console myself. When I am silent and emotions that upset or shrink me arrive, I let them pass. When I am silent and emotions that please and flatter me arrive, I also let them go by.

For half a year I haven’t written anything, and there is so much to say about my country, Nicaragua, that I cannot find the first word, cannot find what has not been said. I don’t know which would be the right tone to start narrating. Should I start with noises? With colors, smells or textures? Should I begin with a blow, spitting of yelling? Should I start walking, stretching my arms, aspiring to reach something? I don’t know.

In the middle of the silence, I saw myself one afternoon narrating in some old papers the great tragedy that we have witnessed, thousands have had to live, and hundreds have died. I told that to myself and today I am going to tell it to you in these two illustrations I did with acrylic paint, graphite pencil and charcoal.

When words are superfluous.

When they take away your life.

When silence is round.

Illustration by Maria Xavier Gutierrez / Urban woman blog

On April 18, 2018 the civic insurrection began to demand changes in the Government of Daniel Ortega. On Thursday the 19th, the repressive forces killed the first student, Richard Pavon Bermundez, 17 years old, an athlete. On Sunday April 22, we closed the night shouting the names of 32 murdered: kids, students, workers, unarmed. The number of people killed is imprecise, there is talk of more than 400. Each one has a name, a family, each one had a life.

“The political persecution of the dictatorship has taken hundreds of Nicaraguans to jail. Nearly fourteen months after the civil rebellion, more than 700 are political prisoners or hostages used by Ortega uses as bargaining chips.”

182 political prisoners continue in the prisons of the dictatorship. More than a dozen of them are confined in isolation or maximum security cells.

521 political prisoners have been released. But without receiving full freedom, they remain under house arrest as hostages of Ortega, according to the list of the Civic Alliance.

92 Nicaraguans reported as persecuted politically or kidnapped by the dictatorship are not in the prisons of the country and are considered missing.

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