El Rama, Nicaragua-. For more than a week, the distress for Socorro Leiva began at nightfall, when the battery of the solar panels is activated, and the small Sankey television broadcasts one of the stellar newscasts of Nicaragua. Through the screen, this peasant woman follows the details of the case of Wilton, the minor abandoned on the Texas border and rescued by the Border Patrol, whose case has made world headlines, because it occurred in the middle of the first immigration crisis facing the Joe Biden’s administration.
The woman follows him with such a start because he is her grandson.
Socorro, 66, lives in El Paraíso, a remote cattle community located in the El Rama mountains, in the Autonomous Region of the South Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, where there is no electricity and the cellular signal is barely perceptible. That is why the newscast is the only way for this woman to find out not only about her grandson, but also about her daughter, Meylin Obregón Leiva, who also tried to cross the southern border without success.
Univision Noticias visited Socorro in El Paraíso, after a trip of more than 300 kilometers on the highway, which continued through a stony trail that crosses farms and streams. When our team arrived, the grandmother was tuning in to the local newscast, which was broadcasting a Univision Noticias interview with Misael Obregón, Leiva’s son and Meylin’s brother. He reported that his sister was kidnapped by Mexican mobsters, the same ones who abandoned the ten-year-old boy at the border. Socorro couldn’t take it anymore. He cried and emotionally melted.
“First of all, I ask God that nothing happens to her… just as the child appeared, that she also appear. What I want is to see her alive, ”Socorro said crying. “In the hands of these people, anything can happen.”
Socorro was unaware that her daughter would travel to the United States with her grandson, so when she saw the video Wilton bewildered in a semi-desert area of Texas more than a week ago, she intuited the reason why her daughter left Nicaragua: gender violence. The United States government has reiterated that relationship problems are not grounds for seeking asylum.
“He ran away from a bad relationship”
About ten days before Meylin left El Paraíso, he came to take refuge at Socorro’s house. The relationship with her partner, Lázaro Gutiérrez Laguna, hit rock bottom after the repeated mistreatment that the migrant who was allegedly kidnapped claimed to have suffered in the twelve-year relationship.
“She was running away from something with the child, from a bad relationship,” says Meylin’s mother. According to Socorro’s account, her daughter went to the Prosecutor’s Office to file a complaint against Gutiérrez Laguna, but with the intention of keeping the man away With the support of the authorities, it did not prosper.
“She reported everything to the Prosecutor’s Office … in the statement she said that she did not want him to be after her, or begging him or anything,” says Socorro. “The Prosecutor’s Office gave an order for him to appear, but he did not appear. Then he continued to bother my daughter. “
“She was distraught. I felt like he was saying goodbye to me these last few days. He said, ‘I can’t be here.’ And I asked him why … if I am your mother, this is your house. But she told me: ‘I know why I tell you.’ What I never imagined is that he would go to the United States, because that is far. But he had already spoken with his brother who is in Miami ”, laments the mother.
Like many Central American migrants fleeing for a cause, be it poverty, gang violence or lack of employment, this 30-year-old woman fled with one of her children from a chain of infidelity and mistreatment, Socorro insists. “One day he threw the cows on him. That man is capable of doing anything against her ”, warns the mother.
Nicaragua is a particularly violent country for women, especially in rural areas where sexist violence reaches scabrous levels, according to organizations that defend women’s rights. According to the organization Catholics for the Right to Decide, between January and April 7, 2021, 19 women were murdered in Nicaragua, and 41 femicides were left in a degree of frustration. The United States was for Meylin the only option not to be part of these figures, as related by her mother.
There were “household problems,” says the vice president
On the morning of April 9, Gutiérrez Laguna was intercepted by the police on his farm, and was transferred to the capital Managua. Hours later, the police institution issued an unusual statement, in which they claimed that they had located “the father of the child Wilton.”
That same day, but hours later, Vice President Rosario Murillo said on television that Meylin “traveled to the United States on February 7, motivated by problems at home, as a couple, and as the child was very attached to the mother, he (his father), Lazaro, agreed that the mother would take him away ”.
However, the mother’s testimony is different. According to Socorro, Gutiérrez Laguna tried to take his partner’s two children, but little Wilton clung to his mother so much that he did not go with the man. That is why only he traveled with his mother to the United States, when they allegedly fell into the hands of the Mexican mafias, according to what his brother and uncle of the child related.
The government spokeswoman for Daniel Ortega was concerned about the whereabouts of Meylin and Wilton. “Our National Police, our Ministry of the Interior, have made, are doing and continue to make representations to the Authorities of the United States and the Authorities of Mexico, to obtain information that leads us to locate them. We are also sending this location request to Interpol “Said Murillo.
However, in the El Paraíso region, Socorro assures that if the Nicaraguan Prosecutor’s Office had carried out its work, perhaps her daughter would not have fled to the United States with the minor.
“I know this is their country, but I prefer that they not return to Nicaragua. I fear because when women are killed here, nobody (the government) does anything. It is in vain. Here we do not have a way to express ourselves, or whoever listens to us ”, laments the matriarch.