Michael Humberto Cruz Sánchez
“He went out to fight for justice!”
Murdered in Managua on April 20th, 2018
Michael Humberto Cruz Sánchez grew up in the heart of a large family. He was raised by his grandparents who were like his parents, and with his aunts, who taught him how to walk, talk, read and write. When he died he was 30 and the father of a seven-month old baby boy.
Elizeth Cruz, Michael’s aunt on his mother’s side, describes him as an excellent father who was responsible and loving. “He was good, happy and respectful, a young man with a beautiful heart. He was a homebody who enjoyed his family and his life with them. He was like his grandfather’s nurse because his grandfather was very ill. He gave him his medicines, took him to the doctor and was loving. He was attentive to him and went to see him everyday.”
She recalled that Michael also liked to share. He would have barbeques and host his friends. When his friends got together they would collect money to buy toys and food for children in the La Mascota Children’s Hospital. They also made piñatas. He liked to help the most vulnerable.
Daysi Cruz, Michael’s cousin, said that they were like siblings because they grew up in the same house. Michael liked riding bicycles and he loved cars. After they grew up they each went different ways but they kept doing things together and they shared friends. They had plans to start a family business.
Michael studied business administration and was a businessman but he went back to school to study project formulation and evaluation. He wanted to start a civil engineering business that would provide services in electricity and construction. “He wanted to develop as a person, as a professional and have stability. He thought of his family and his little boy’s future,” Daisy added.
Elizeth Cruz says that Michael had spoken to his mother on the phone one day before his murder and he expressed his indignation at the Sandinista Youth beating up the elderly who were demanding their rights. He adored his grandfather and he said that the attack on the elderly was unfair.
Michael joined the cause because, “he was hurt by the attack on the old people.” He was outraged by the blows to the elderly and he saw his own grandfather and grandmother in each of them,” said his aunt.
This led Michael to set out to the UPOLI on April 20th with water for the protesters. He wanted to help the students being repressed but he couldn’t get through with the car so he walked. The police opened fire on the young people who were barricaded there, after throwing tear gas at them. Michael was in an alleyway behind the UPOLI when he was gunned down with a shot to his chest. Testimonies and videos register images of policeman shooting protestors at close range.
For his cousin Daisy, Michael leaves a legacy of courage. “You defend what you believe in and you fight for those you love, despite the consequences.”
Aunt Elizeth says that the family wants to know why they killed so many unarmed young people who were only exercising their right to protest. “When we know the truth we will have some semblance of peace.” It is not easy to process the death of a loved one. In this case it is more difficult because his life was stolen, the future was stolen from him, a father, a son and brother were stolen from us. They stole a part of out family and the part that is missing leaves a hole in our heart. We want to know what happened, how it happened and why. When we know, we will have peace and consolation.”
She would like Michael to be remembered as the young man that he was: fun, respectful, loving, charitable and someone who would give his life for others. A young man who went out to defend the rights of the elderly, who went out to fight for justice, someone who wanted to see a different county.
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