Vicente Rappaccioli Navas
“Nicaragua belongs to us all”
Murdered in San Marcos on June 26, 2018
Vicente Rappaccioli Navas was a peaceful, likable, quiet person. He spoke little but looked out for everyone around him.
Emilia Yang Rappaccioli, his niece, explains that Vicente had a farm in Costa Rica where he used to plant trees to produce oxygen, which he then sold as bonds on the stock market. He was very concerned about climate change and wrote scientific articles about how to mitigate global warming, reforest and care for the planet. He read a lot and promoted environmental initiatives.
In line with his opinions, Vicente loved and enjoyed nature. He exercised outdoors, rode a bicycle, practiced yoga and often went to the sea. “He was very active, like a kid… he didn’t seem like a 59-year-old,” says his young niece.
His sister, Luvy Rappaccioli Navas, remembers him with love and misses his concern for everyone and for the environment: “For him, God was nature’s pure energy. He was very spiritual and said Nicaragua belongs to us all.”
The afternoon of June 26, Vicente Rappaccioli left his house for the bank to withdraw money. On his way back, a couple of hours later, he was stopped at a paramilitary roadblock at Las Cuatro Esquinas, an intersection between the highway to San Marcos and the Pan-American Highway. He didn’t return home that night and his family began to search for him; they went to the places he frequented, sent out text messages by cell phone and posted an announcement on social media. Many people they knew said they had recently talked to him, but no one reported having seen him on the day of his disappearance.
After three days of intense searching, the family received a call from the Forensic Examiner’s Office asking them to identify a body that coincided with the description of Vicente. Emilia accompanied her uncle Gastón, Vicente’s brother. “On the way I was thinking it couldn’t be true; he might be beaten, but not dead… But he was; when my uncle came out he said it was him,” she recalls.
Terror prevented the Rappaccioli family from holding a wake for Vicente’s body and say goodbye to him the way he would have wanted. The way he deserved. But in their intimacy, accompanied by his closest relatives, they prayed for his soul, held a Mass and then took him to the cemetery.
According to the death certificate, Vicente Rappaccioli died of a bullet wound to the head. The corresponding report was filed with the Permanent Human Rights Commission (CPDH) and the Nicaraguan Human Rights Center (CENIDH).
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