Thursday marked exactly five months since President Daniel Ortega’s government killed Alvarito Conrado. The 15-year-old distributed water to those protesting the Nicaraguan government when he was shot and killed. His death only served to further anger citizens, who had already become fed up of the many injustices perpetrated by the government over the years. The protests started on April 18 after Ortega increased pension contributions from employers and reduced the pensions of retirees by 5 percent. And while he since called off the reform, it has not quieted demonstrators who have fought for their country since April 18. On Thursday, exactly five months after Alvarito’s death, Nicaragua-born Bianca Jagger delivered a powerful speech at the Council of Americas condemning the government and calling for the international community to stand alongside her people.
Jagger opened the speech explaining that when she learned of Alvarito’s death, his final words struck her. “It hurts me to breathe,” she repeated. To this day, the words fill her with anger.
“When Alvarito was taken to the hospital, he was let to die,” she said. “Because the government of Daniel Ortega is not only prosecuting, is not only killing innocent civilians who are unarmed, it’s not only kidnapping, it’s not only torturing people, it’s not only putting people under false accusations in jail accused of being terrorists, but is giving orders, the minister of health gave orders that doctors should not provide medical attention to the students or to the people of the demonstrators who were wounded. So Alvarito died.”