Salvador de Jesús Arévalo Martínez
“I often feel like he is just outside, and that soon he will return”
Murdered on June 4, 2018
Salvador Arévalo Martínez was Isabel Arévalo Martínez’s youngest child. He was 32 years old and he sold appliances. He was easy going, fun and he got along well with his three siblings. He used his motorcycle for work, but previously he worked in the free-trade zone and in Costa Rica. When he returned to the country he continued working in the Oriental Market.
He lived with his partner in Tipitapa and he had a 2-year-old son. “Salvador was a responsible father. He wanted to raise his son well and he made sure that he had everything he needed. He took good care of his son,” recalled doña Isabel.
During his free time he played soccer, and he liked to swim in the pool in Tipitapa. Everyone remembers him as a good guy. He was an attentive and loving son. He would have breakfast with his mom almost every day. He brought her groceries and on Sundays he would visit her with his son.
Salvador got involved in the protest because he disagreed with the social security reform law. “He saw that they were taking away the pensions of the elderly and so he went to the UPOLI to support the young people’s protest,” recalls his mother. His mother says that Salvador was on a list of the pro-government CPC Committee. He had been threatened because he accused the Sandinista Youth of setting the Municipal Government building on fire, contradicting the government’s version that it had been young people from the blue and white movement.
One day Salvador arrived at his mother’s house with others who had been at the UPOLI. He had two homemade mortars with him and doña Isabel, who was afraid, told him that they would kill him. He responded, “Mom, I am fighting and you are not going to stop me. I am young and I can fight against this government. It hurts me that they have killed so many young people.”
Four days later they murdered him. His mother was watching TV. Salvador went to her home and told her they were following him, trying to kill him. “I will be a hero and you’ll see me on TV,” he told her.
On June 4th while Isabel Arévalo was waiting for her son to eat breakfast, she received a phone call from her daughter saying that Salvador had been injured in Tipitapa and that he had been taken by ambulance to the Alemán Hospital. “I couldn’t believe the news and I quickly made my way to the hospital. When I arrived I saw Salvador and he was talking, saying, “take care of my little boy,” she recalls. Isabel said that she struggled with the guards to let her see her injured son, but they wouldn’t let her in so she waited outside. “Shortly afterwards a doctor came out with his hospital coat covered in blood to tell me that Salvador had died,” she explains, with a lump in her throat. A lot of young people from the UPOLI and Salvador’s friends gathered outside the hospital.
Doña Isabel said that her son was murdered by people in a Hilux pickup truck, near the Tipitapa roadblock. “They killed him because he disagreed with them. Because young people woke up and saw that things were not the way the government portrayed them, so they are killing them,” she stated.
She recalls that her son proudly declared that he was, “fighting for his country, defending the young people.” “He was a hero, a young man full of life. He was very loving with his son. His principal legacy is his courage. He wanted a free country where there would be work, a place where he could see his son grow up properly.”
Now, his mother demands justice for her son. “All of those who killed should go to jail. The government lies because the truth is that my son was a good person. I remember him every moment… at home, at his grave, in the street. I often feel that he is just outside, and that soon he will return. I want justice for so many children that they killed.”
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