Letter from the Northern Christian Communities
TO: NICARAGUAN CHRISTIANS, OUR BISHOPS, RELIGIOUS, PRIESTS, DELEGATES OF THE WORD AND ALL MEN AND WOMEN OF GOOD WILL.
Greeting in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of life.
We feel as our own the pain, the anguish, the suffering and the insecurity of the people and of all the Christian Communities of the northern area of Nicaragua. We feel the need to share our desires for unity and solidarity and for peace in our country.
The Christian Communities of Ciudad Sandino, Wiwilí, Murra, Jalapa, San Juan de Río Coco, Ciudad Antigua and San Fernando, who gathered in Santa Clara to reflect upon the situation in the light of faith, wish to share with you the latest in a long chain of events.
IN THE AREA OF JALAPAOn September 22 in San Nicolás, two Ministry of Agrarian Reform technicians were brutally assassinated and their five companions were wounded.
On October 8 in the community of San José, two humble street vendors were assassinated and Angel Valenzuela lost his arm. All were simple workers.
On October 14 in the community of La Estancia, Julio Villarreina and Juan Ramos had their throats cut, and another man was gravely wounded.
On October 15 in Siuce, Delegate of the Word Cruz Urrutia was tortured, mutilated and finally his throat was slit.
On October 23 in the village of Germán Polares, Leonilo Marín was kidnapped and found later with this throat slit.
In the area of El Jicaro and Murra, the following Delegates were assassinated:
Eduviges Gómez, 23 years old, who had served the community of Baná Centro for six months.
Marcelo González, 40 years, from the village of California, was killed on April 30 of this year.
Santos Mejía, 36 years old, from the community of San Pablo Arriba, was killed in May.
William Rodríguez, a campesino from Quebrada Negra, was mutilated and assassinated in September.
Juan Alanis from Santa Isabel was kidnapped and found dead, his body mutilated, on October 30, in the community of Arenal.
And finally, the latest incident that has touched us: the extermination of almost the entire Blandón family, from the community of La Fragua: the father, Ricardo Blandón, 56 years old, Delegate of the Word, and his sons: Gregorio Blandón, 27 years old, Delegate of the Word, and Leonardo, Ricardito, Antonio and Angel Blandón.
On the night of October 28 at 9 p.m, a counterrevolutionary band arrived at the home of the Blandón family. The men were pulled out of the house and were mutilated and their throats were slit. The same fate befell Raúl Moreno from the village of Villa Revolución.
All these men were involved in the process through service to their communities.
WHAT KIND OF GOD?In the massacres in La Estancia and La Fragua, the words, “With God, Without Communism”, were found. What kind of God do those who have sadistically assassinated our neighbors believe in?
Besides these incidents, there are many additional frustrated assassination attempts against our neighbors, as well as robberies, threats, destruction of tobacco-curing sheds on state farms, air-space violations and continuous attacks from Honduran territory.
All of this creates a situation of insecurity and fear, and an exodus from our communities. We stand united with the families of our dead brothers and with all those who live in fear.
We grieve deeply over these events and never will be able to understand the reasons that bring people to commit such horrendous crimes.
A THANK-YOU TO 104 COUNTRIES, IN THE NAME OF GODWe thank those 104 countries who gave Nicaragua and its revolutionary process their vote of confidence as an example of self-determination and as an instrument of peace.
Our people fought heroically to defend their right to live with dignity, in peace and justice, and they will continue the struggle to achieve that peace. (Nicaraguan Episcopal Letter of 1979).
PLEA TO THE HONDURAN BISHOPSWe implore the Honduran bishops and their Christian Communities to dialogue with the Nicaraguan bishops about the situation in both countries. How beautiful it would be if our bishop were to meet with the bishops of our borders.
We call all Christians of Nicaragua to unite ourselves to the only Lord of life, Jesus Christ, “so that all may be one… by this they will know that they are my disciples”. John 17, 21.
United to the God of peace, of life, we commit ourselves to defend the lives of our people and to do it within the process of our country, understanding what awaits us. “Happy are those who work for peace, because they shall be known as children of God. Happy are those who are persecuted for justice’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Matthew 5, 9-10.
May our words of encouragement reach you. Christ is with us – the campesinos, children, sick, elderly and youth of the border area.
“That all may be one”.