Daniel Josías Reyes Rivera

25 Years Old - Student

Daniel Josías Reyes Rivera 

“This struggle pertains not only to those who take to the streets, but to everyone”


Murdered in Managua on May 30, 2018 

Daniel Reyes Rivera lived in Ticuantepe, was 25 years old, and was studying his third year of veterinary medicine at the Universidad de Ciencias Comerciales (UCC). “He wanted to get ahead; he had many dreams; he wanted to have his own veterinary clinic.  He loved animals, and he had sheep, dogs and cats at the house,” relates his mother, Alejandra Rivera.

His father, Cándido Reyes Luna, remembers that Daniel worked hard at his studies and his jobs. He attended classes on Saturdays, and during the week he worked in a car wash and as a helper at a cafeteria. One of his dreams was to become a good professional; he was highly motivated. He longed to finish his career and help his family. “With his cheerful temperament, he was always joking with his siblings and was very close with his younger brother. As a son he was excellent, well behaved and obedient,” recalls his father.

“Daniel was not only my son; he was my friend and confidant. He was very intelligent and loved to study. He would spend hours reading. He was especially passionate about history books, and he liked maps,” comments his mother.  His dad recalls that Daniel “…was a good cook, and soups were his specialty. A week before his murder, he made a lamb soup that the whole family sat down to eat together.”

His father adds, “He was a humble, hard-working, charismatic boy, a great kid with principles and values, particularly honesty, that he had learned from the time he was little. I used to remind him to never forget his roots, to respect others, particularly his elders, the family, his aunts and uncles.”


Alejandra Rivera says that when the protests began, she talked with Daniel and expressed her concern about the situation in the country. They commented that there was considerable dissent and that people were complaining. In her youth, she had participated in the fight against the Somoza dictatorship, and she felt that the two situations were similar. She asked her son to leave the Sandinista Youth organization (JS), a group that Daniel had joined when he was very young. “I see two people clinging to power for a long time, who have the Army, the Police and a third army dressed in white, who are you, the Sandinista Youth. At the time of a blowout, you are going to be the Army,” she would say to him. Finally, the boy left the ranks of the JS.

When the protests broke out, Daniel stopped attending the university, but would leave the house every day without saying where he was headed. His mother’s pleas to stay at home went unheeded. “I don’t want to be another mother mourning for her son,” she told him one morning. Daniel replied: “People who stay at home believe that the fight pertains only to those who take to the streets, but this fight pertains to everyone, including those who stay at home. What good is a university degree, if this man who is killing us? Don’t worry, nothing will happen to me.” His father says that Daniel “…raised his flag for a just cause…and had been outraged at seeing elderly men who were beaten for protesting. He participated because he had ideals; he fought for the country to be free.”

On May 30, Daniel went out to participate in the Mother’s Day March. “He was in the front, in the protective cordon that the students formed to shield the mothers,” recalls Doña Alejandra. She watched the coverage of the march on the television and saw the beginning of the attack on the marchers and the first wounded. She called Daniel several times, but he did not answer his phone. Two anxiety-filled days went by.

Massiel Reyes Rivera, Daniel’s sister, recalls that her parents asked her to go looking for him. She went to the Metropolitano Hospital and the Military Hospital but did not find him. She used social media to ask if his friends had news, but no one had seen him. On June 1, someone finally answered Daniel’s cell phone. The caller identified himself as an employee of the Forensic Examiner’s office and then requested that a family member come in to identify his body.

“We want justice done, that the guilty pay. My son did not deserve to die. It was unfair what they did to him because he was demanding respect for his rights. Let the truth be known, let the whereabouts of the missing persons be known,” demands Daniel’s father. And doña Alejandra asks that her son’s memory be reflected in history, in books, on walls, on video and that the whole world know what happened. “Let the next generations know and never forget what happened. May it never happen again. Memory means never forgetting,” affirms Alejandra Rivera.

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