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Gerald (20) was killed in the rake of the fire against the father Ericks church

the Nicaragua/Costa Rica (Dagbladet): - They shoot to kill!

Tearful, on the floor in a darkened church, lies a girl with a mobile phone. It drønner of geværskudd. Around her scatters plaster and shards of glass.

We fled here, and they shoot to kill! You hear?, gasping she entered into the mobile phone, which is on the recording, before the roar from the guns interrupt her.

It is July 2018. The church where the girl is, La Divina Misericordia in Managua, is under hefty fire from the police and supporters of nicaragua's president Daniel Ortega.

< p> "He ran out!"

From the uprising broke out 18. april, against a president who is accused of having been a dictator, it has spread throughout the country. Youth have erected barricades, which the president now has decided to remove.

WAS ONLY 20: Gerald Vásquez died outside of the church La Divina Misericordia, killed by a sharpshooter. Photo: Private Show more

an estimated 150 that on the evening of 13. July is in the church La Divina Misericordia, appeared before on the day behind the barricades at the Nicaraguan national autonomous university (UNAN), but have sought refuge in the church close by. Outside of fighting the bravest and boldest on.

On the early morning rains the balls still. The attackers are few metres away. With morteren his, a kind of primitive mortar, Gerald Vásquez (20) among those who continue to fight. He seems to be in a poor condition.

"You have done much already. Be here!", says a fellow student of him once he is inside the church. But Gerald has not had enough. He wants to come out and fight on.

Medstudenten, which calls itself the "Vegueta", have too much to do to take care of him. More fire must be extinguished, after the shot has hit the light and fan facility.

"He ran out, he ran out!", hear "Vegueta" all of a sudden someone shouts.

the Barrage, says police

Four months later meetings Dagbladet nicaragua's police chief Francisco Díaz on kommandorommet in politihovedkvarteret in Managua. The attack on the church has in the meantime become one of the most symboltunge the events of the bloody summer of 2018, when president Daniel Ortegas forces swept away a hundreds opprørsbarrikader throughout the country.

PRESIDENTPARET: This picture of nicaragua's president Daniel Ortega and his wife, the vice president, Rosario Murillo, adorned the border with Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas until 1. December. Photo: Henning " View more

When the summer was over, had the death toll passed 300. According to Amnesty, the majority killed by the regime's people - the police or the armed Ortega supporters who fight together with the police.

They were armed, says police chief Francisco Díaz about those who sought refuge in La Divina Misericordia from 13. 14. July. He and the inspector-general Jaime Antonio Vanegas Vega defends that it was shot against the church.

It was the crossfire. From inside the church, " says Díaz .

- And who fired against the church? We saw that there had been a skuddregn.

Now is the inspector general Jaime Antonio Vanegas Vega as the answer.

TOOK the CHURCH: - When they succeeded to throw them out from the UNAN, they retreated back and took the church Divina Misericordia, says inspector-general Jaime Antonio Vanegas Vega, to the left in the picture. To the right nicaragua's police chief Francisco Díaz. Photo: Henning " Show more "Voluntary police"

- When one succeeded in throwing them out from the university, they retreated back and took the church Divina Misericordia. And from there they began to attack the police. And the police personnel did, was to turn back the attack.

So when was it the police that were around, and they fought against those who were in the church?

- Yes. There were citizens, residents, and police who came to when they were summoned, because they shot from inside the church, " says Vanegas.

He and Díaz explains that they are often masked, civilian groups such as the police worked together during the protests in the spring and in the summer of 2018 was the "volunteer police".

POLITICAL COST: - It would have been a massacre with a high political cost, " says journalist Ismael López about what he thinks would have happened if the attackers had come into the church. Here, with a Jesusbilde which was hit by three shots, in the sacristy in the church La Divina Misericordia. Photo: Henning " View more

- The volunteers, the police is there to support. They are not alone. All actions were always governed by a professional police officer, " says Vanegas.

Too late

"Vegueta" confirms that he and others used the mortere and homemade weapons that molotowcocktails against the attackers. Dagbladet met him in December a park in Costa Rica, together with Yader Vásquez, Gerald Vásquez' father.

There were two or three revolvers caliber 38, and a blasts, says "Vegueta".

Yader Vasquez is mostly silent about what happened between the age of 13. and 14. July. It is still painful to talk about.

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According to the Amnesty had the attackers, which is referred to as "para-police", the weapons of a completely different caliber than the ' youth: automatic rifles like the M16, which is supposed to be used in war, and sniper rifles.

In a report writes the Amnesty that the authorities "at the highest level" not only knew of the attack from the "parapolitiet": They shall also shall have directed certain aspects of it. According to the Amnesty did not stop the violence before the high statsfunksjonærer accepted a cease-fire, so that the church could be evacuated at 10 the 14. July.

by Then it was too late for Gerald Vasquez.

Shots on the sacristy

Around at five o'clock on the morning of the 14. July so father Erick Alvarado a mortally wounded Gerald Vasquez be carried into the presteboligen.

- To see him die in there... a boy of around 20 years, " says Alvarado when Dagbladet asks him what made the strongest impression of the night. In kirkeveggene around us there are hundreds of bullet holes. Three of them have hit a Jesus picture in the sacristy.

So close to death we were that night. Why attack a church on the way? We don't understand, " says Erick Alvarado.

HARD: - It was hard to see him, bathed in blood, "says Gerald Vásquez' father Yader Vasquez (t.h.) about when he saw his son dead at the hospital. Here together with the student who uses dekknavnet "Vegueta" in Costa Rica in December. Photo: Henning". Show more

In a park in Costa Rica tells the "Vegueta" what happened with Gerald Vásquez.

He should fire the morteren her, when a bullet struck him in the head, says "Vegueta", which is dekknavnet his.

Also another youth, Francisco José Flores (21), died the same morning on the outside of the church. 16 were injured, according to Amnesty.

Then Yader Vasquez saw his son again after redselsnatta, he lay dead in a hospital.

It was hard to see him, bathed in blood, " says Vasquez to the Newspaper. So he manages not to say more, and sinks together on a bench. "Vegueta" sits down to comfort.


Amnesty believes that the murder of Gerald Vásquez can be an "extrajudicial execution is a crime against international law", because he should have been shot by a marksman who "acted on orders from (or at least with the tacit consent from the state authorities".

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Ismael López, a journalist for the Washington Post who was present in the church, says this about why the paramilitary did not come into the church.

I think it was out of respect, more than that they have not managed it. It would have been a massacre, with a high political cost.

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