Marvin de los Santos López
“It’s been hard to accept that he is dead. We want justice”
Murdered in Masaya on June 19, 2018
Marvin de los Santos López was 48 years old. He was an agronomical engineer. Unemployed, he began working as a taxi driver. He was happy, concerned about others, had a lot of charisma, and people liked him. “Everybody talked with him and no one ever said a bad word about him,” explains his wife, Zobeida García Toledo.
His son, Kevin Matías López García, was with his father at the barricades in Masaya. Marvin had been a Sandinista militant, and had fought to support the revolution. “He became very upset because of the fire in the Indio Maíz reserve, and all of these deaths. He didn’t agree with the government’s actions, and said he hadn’t fought for this. And because of his ideals, he could not support the repression against the young people. He said there were many young people in the streets protesting, and dying unjustly,” recalls Kevin. So his dad “started going to the barricades and came home in the early morning hours. He got more and more involved in the barricades and the protest.”
Kevin offers a detailed account of what happened: “On June 19, “Operation Clean-Up” began and paramilitaries were shooting off rounds non-stop. They began to knock down the first barricade that was at El Coyotepe, and they kept advancing to the San Jerónimo traffic circle. They were gaining ground and advancing. They placed snipers at the traffic circle. We were more exposed at the two barricades near the entrance to Masaya, on a downward slope. My father was at the second barricade, at the entrance to Masaya, and he stuck his head up to take a look. He was shot in the jaw, and fell down. Everyone ran to help him. We took him to the medical post, but they said he needed to go to the hospital. We couldn’t get him out because the paramilitaries were now entering the city, shooting like crazy. They shot at anything that moved. They didn’t care if it was a child or anything else. The gunfire bursts split the cobblestones in half. If we stayed there, they were going to kill us or kidnap us. So we broke through the walls of a house, and then another, until we were safe in a house in another neighborhood. That’s where my father died. We had to wait until they advanced, smashing down the barricades, to get out and take his body home. When we were finally able to move, we carried him, but we were all afraid. We crossed three streets and could hear gunfire all around us. With help from others, we carried his body to our home.”
“It was really hard for my mother, for my brother and my daughter. I myself couldn’t believe it. It seemed like a lie. I wanted to believe he was asleep, and I spoke to him. It was hard to accept that he was dead. We want justice,” affirms his son.
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