Struggling to Survive

Names and details that could reveal the identity of those interviewed have been withheld to ensure their safety. The fear of invasions, killings, and kidnappings, that is silencing the Indigenous communities in Nicaragua, makes this report all the more urgent.

“My name is xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx and I am from Esperanza Rio Wawa, where I had my community, my home, and my parcel.

Today I live in the outskirts of Puerto Cabezas, where I cannot even have a decent home for my family. There is no work. You see how we live—my wife, my six daughters and 12 grand-children live in this wooden shack with no electricity or water. But given the fearful situation with the colonos in my community, I was forced to move here.

“But the colonos, Comandante Enrique Erasmo Flores and Cara Malo, took over my farm. I went to ask them for my land. But I was told that if I want my land back, I will have to die for it.”

In Esperanza Rio Wawa, I had 60 ha where I grew coco, cacao, banana, plantains, cassava and more. But the colonos, Comandante Enrique Erasmo Flores and Cara Malo, took over my farm. I went to ask them for my land. But I was told that if I want my land back, I will have to die for it. I went to the police but they did nothing.

Colonos attacked Santa Clara and the Esperanza Rio Wawa community in September 2015. So we moved to Puerto Cabezas. Today I have no work. My wife buys vegetables at a low price and tries to sell in the municipal market. My two daughters got work as domestic help in a house but were not paid. Son of the boss even tried to violate my daughter and she had to run from the house at night. This is our life here.

We eat one meal a day here. My daughters are trying to send children to school. But it is hard to study on an empty stomach.

Interview with xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx. Outskirts of Puerta Cabezas.