Perspectives from Nicaraguan Student Activists

Lesther Alemán, Georgina Capetillo, and Jeancarlo López

Friday, April 05, 2019 | 12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Latin American and Iberian Institute

801 Yale Blvd NE (campus building #165)


Join the LAII, SOLAS, and Fort Lewis College partners for a student-activist panel presentation on the state of democracy in Nicaragua.

Democracy is currently in retreat. Roughly 2.5 billion people—or 1/3 of the world—live in a country where democracy is slipping away. The spread of authoritarianism in countries like Turkey, Hungary, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and the Philippines presents a troubling trend for all citizens of the world, including those who live in the four corners region. This event will present UNM and the broader Albuquerque community with an opportunity to discuss this timely issue alongside student activists from Nicaragua. The panel’s speakers are currently living in exile due to persecution by Daniel Ortega, who has ruled their country since 2007. The panelists will speak about their experiences during the April 19th, 2018 uprising against Ortega and his wife, Rosario Murillo, who is also the country’s vice-president. Following a series of individual presentations, the audience will have the opportunity to interact directly with the panelists via a Q & A session.

Lesther Alemán has been at the center of Nicaragua’s student-led movement since the beginning of the April 19th uprising in 2018. During the initial negotiations between the government and civil society, Lesther famously stood up and told the president, Daniel Ortega, “We’re here to negotiate your exit.” Since negotiations with the government broke down in May 2018, Lester has been part of an awareness caravan in the United States and Latin America. At 20 years old, Lesther is reflective of the many young faces among Nicaragua’s latest political movement. He currently lives in exile.

Georgina Capetillo is currently finishing up a master’s degree in International Affairs at The New School in New York City. She has facilitated the awareness caravan that Nicaraguan activists have been conducting since the April 19th uprising in 2018. Georgina also does research in International Relations, Human Rights and Foreign Policy. Her current project is populism in Nicaragua and the global responses to Ortega’s regime in 2018 and 2019.

Jeancarlo López is a member of the Verification and Security Commission of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy in Nicaragua. López studies Systems Engineering at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, and is a leader of the April 19th Student Movement, named for the date of the student occupation of the Polytechnic University and subsequent repression by government forces. He currently lives in exile.


This event is free and open to the public.


Fort Lewis College and partners, Latin American and Iberian Institute, SOLAS