Oscar Noel Herrera Blandón
“To live in a free country, without hypocrisy, without spilled blood”
Murdered in Jinotega on October 7, 2018
Oscar Noel Herrera Blandón, known as Noel, was 42 years old when he was murdered. He had seven children, one of whom, Russel Jacob Herrera Osorio, says that they had a lovely relationship as his father was always there for him. From an early age he supported him, played with him, took him out, and taught him how to study, work and above all keep on the right path. He is grateful for all of that.
Russel describes his father as a very hardworking man who practised dentistry from the age of 17 until he was 30 years old and started to work as a lawyer when he finished his law degree. He also worked on a farm he owned.
When the Constitutionalist Liberal Party won the municipal elections in Wiwilí in the department of Jinotega, Noel was hired as a legal advisor. He combined that work with writing, his favourite hobby: he was a poet, published a novel and was writing his second book, Santa Clara, which he left unfinished.
Russel says that his father “was unaffected and at the same time elegant, intelligent and full of character. He had good principles and a good heart, and if he could help he always gave a hand to people who needed it or were looking for it.”
In relation to his father’s dreams and intentions, he explains that “He wanted us to live peacefully, to remove the Ortega regime from power and live in a free country, without hypocrisy, without spilled blood of innocent people. He treasured his family and he wanted his children to be fine all the time; and I think he achieved that, because he was always with us.”
Noel Herrera’s family has always been Liberal, ideologically speaking. According to his son, his legacy is that “he was always a man of struggle, a brave, willing man who was never afraid of threats and decided to die for his people. He thought that when the storm comes you have to fly over it, and I think we have to learn from his bravery to fight for freedom.”
Noel supported the social protests from April 19, 2018, participating in the La Marañosa roadblock. In the following months he began to receive death threats through different channels. Russel thinks his father was shot dead in a bar by a paramilitary member because he was “too trusting.”
“My father’s loss left such a big hole inside me,” his son recalls, “that I didn’t even believe it until I saw him in the coffin. I want justice to be done, for the criminal to pay for the physical and emotional damage he caused, for this crime not to end up in impunity and be forgotten.”
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