Cruz Alberto Obregón López
“We’re going to build a new Nicaragua with peace and justice”
Murdered in Estelí on May 30, 2018
Cruz Alberto Obregón López was born in the community of El Regadío. He was an ambitious 23-year-old university student who was only one semester short of graduating in two majors at two separate universities: civil engineering at the National Engineering University and renewable energy engineering in the Regional Multidisciplinary Department of the National Autonomous University (UNAN-FAREM) in Estelí. His dream was to continue his higher education and became an accomplished professional. His intelligence and his vocation for study was notable even in primary school, when his teachers graded an interview he’d done in third grade as excellent.
Cruz Alberto grew up in the house of his maternal grandmother, Manuela del Carmen Pérez, who remembers him as humble, easygoing, educated and very happy, always willing to help out other people.
His aunt, Gabriela López Pérez, characterizes her nephew as a dreamer and a dedicated student. He had great projects, and despite his family’s limitations, he made an effort to improve each day. In addition to his university studies, he worked in masonry and as an electrician during his vacations.
His mother, Sara Amelia López, remarks that Cruz “was educated, caring and very popular. He had so much love for other people, for his friends.”
Gabriela and her sister Carmen Oneyda López Pérez note that the family had been Sandinistas but changed their way of thinking “because they disagreed with what the government was doing.” Cruz Alberto himself was a member of the Sandinista Youth and during the elections would work as the head of a voting table.
His aunt Gabriela says he was at the same time very intelligent, analytical and critical.
“He saw that all the revolution stuff he had learned so much about was a huge fiasco, a great defeat,” say his aunts. “For him, the last straw was when they killed Orlando Pérez, his friend and university classmate in renewable energy studies. Orlando’s death had a tremendous impact on him.”
After Orlando was killed on April 20, Cruz Alberto got totally involved in the protests and on May 30 participated in the Mothers March, where the demonstrators were attacked by pro-government shock forces and paramilitaries. At approximately 8:00 pm, half a block from the Domingo Gadea plaza, he was shot multiple times, mainly in his thorax. He was taken by motorcycle to the Red Cross headquarters and from there to the Adventist Hospital. “He was conscious and told the boys accompanying him not to leave him alone, not to let him die,” says his mother, Sara Amelia. “The blood was asphyxiating him and he said he couldn’t breathe. In the hospital the doctor who received him treated him quickly. Cruz told her his name and asked that his mother be notified. When they intubated him, the blood clots came out and he was finally able to breathe, but only for a few minutes before he died.
“They destroyed his plans, but he is a hero,” says his mother. “Because of the blood that has been shed we are going to build a new Nicaragua with peace and justice.”
I want to know more