Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal

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Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal
Born (1924-09-23)September 23, 1924
Granada, Nicaragua
Died 10 January 1978(1978-01-10) (aged 53)
Was killed from a standing position from outside his vehicle by a paid assassin nicknamed "Stoneface" ("Cara de Piedra"). There was a plot to kill him and it has not been investigated properly since then, because of political reasons. SEE newspaper accounts at the time, for that year especially.
Nationality Nicaraguan
Notable credit(s) La Prensa
Spouse(s) Violeta Barrios de Chamorro
Children 3

Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Cardenal (23 September 1924 Granada, Nicaragua – 10 January 1978 Managua) was a Nicaraguan journalist and publisher. He was the editor of La Prensa, the only significant opposition newspaper to the long rule of the Somoza family. He is a 1977 laureate of the Maria Moors Cabot Prize of the University of Columbia (New York). He married Violeta Barrios de Chamorro who later went on to become President of Nicaragua (1990-1996).

Background[edit]

Chamorro was a son of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Zelaya and wife Margarita Cardenal Argüello and paternal grandson of Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Bolaños and wife Ana María Zelaya Bolaños. He was the maternal grandson of Salvador Cardenal Saborío (son of Pedro Cardenal Ayerdi and wife Ana Ma. Saborio Bonilla), and wife Isabel Argüello Prado (daughter of Pedro Argüello Argüello and wife Leocadia Parado y Méndez). Both were relatives of Leonardo Argüello, 66th President of Nicaragua. His great-grandparents were Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Alfaro, 39th President of Nicaragua, and wife María de la Luz Bolaños Bendaña.

He had two brothers, Jaime Chamorro Cardenal and Xavier Chamorro Cardenal, and two sisters, Ligia Chamorro Cardenal, married to Samuel Barreto Argüello (grand child of president Leonardo Arguello) and Ana María Chamorro Cardenal, married to Carlos Holmann Thompson (son of Edgard T. Holmann Reinecke and wife Carolina Thompson Gutierrez) from San Juan del Sur, parents of Eduardo, Verónica, Hugo Martín, Ana Carolina, Bruno, Ericka, and Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro.


Primeros años[edit]

Un nativo de  Granada, que era un principal opositor de la dinastía Somoza. Cuando todavía era un estudiante de derecho, comenzó a tomar parte en las manifestaciones contra el general Anastasio Somoza García y fue encarcelado brevemente en 1944 después de hacer un discurso anti-Somoza en un mitin. Ese mismo año, el periódico de su familia,  La Prensa , fue cerrada por el régimen, y la familia Chamorro huyó a México, donde comenzó a estudiar periodismo. Regresó a Nicaragua en 1948, convirtiéndose en director de  La Prensa  después de la muerte de su padre en 1952. Mientras que  La Prensa  Nunca fue cerrado o completamente  censurado, Chamorro fue frecuentemente encarcelado debido su contenido.

Activismo[edit]

Preocupados por la difícil situación de su país, donde Somoza había aplastado toda oposición política y amasado una considerable fortuna personal, Chamorro mantuvo involucrado en la política. En 1954, fue encarcelado, la tortura d y condenado a prisión por cargos de rebelión, pero la sentencia fue conmutada a arresto domiciliario en 1955.Chamorro fue arrestado de nuevo en 1956 durante una sangrienta represión del gobierno siguiente el asesinato de Somoza. En 1957 fue acusado de complicidad en el asesinato, pero más tarde acusado de rebelión y desterrado a San Carlos, una ciudad distante en el sur de Nicaragua.Huyó a Costa Rica con su esposa Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, y organizó una expedición en 1959 para derrocar al gobierno del hijo mayor de Somoza, Luis Somoza Debayle. Sin embargo, los miembros de la expedición fueron capturados y Chamorro traídos por tercera vez ante un tribunal militar, que lo condenó a nueve años de prisión por traición. Tras su liberación en 1969, retomó la dirección editorial de La Prensa, que continuó atacando al régimen de Somoza, ahora encabezado por Anastasio Somoza Debayle, hijo menor del ex dictador.En 1975 el gobierno impuso a Chamorro una suspensión de 32 meses de los derechos constitucionales después de un ataque por Cuba - rebeldes apoyados. Chamorro dirigió la oposición Unión Democrática de Liberación (UDEL) e hizo campaña para derechos humanos y la restauración de la democracia. Su papel se convirtió en la principal plataforma de la oposición, con lo que la corrupción del régimen de Somoza en el punto de mira de la opinión pública mundial. Durante este periodo, Chamorro y La Prensa fueron censurados repetidamente. El procedimiento normal era que en la tarde antes de la fecha de su publicación, todas menos la primera y última páginas del periódico tuvo que ser sometido a revisión por parte de una junta de censura compuesto de tres oficiales de la Guardia Nacional. La primera y la última página se presentaron en el día de su publicación.

Murder and legacy[edit]

Chamorro wrote a letter in 1975 to Somoza: “I am waiting, with a clear conscience, and a soul at peace, for the blow you are to deliver.” Three years later, in January 1978, Chamorro was killed by unknown gunmen who pulled up beside him in a car and opened fire with shotguns. Somoza claimed Chamorro was assassinated by Pedro Ramos, a Cuban-American entrepreneur whose business had been attacked by La Prensa. At the time, however, the Chamorro family and the wealthy opposition held that Somoza had ordered him killed.

At his funeral, thousands of people followed the coffin from Managua’s Oriental Hospital to the Chamorro family home, taking turns carrying it.

Following Chamorro’s murder, an estimated 30,000 people rioted in the streets of Managua. Cars were set on fire and several buildings belonging to the Somoza family were attacked. A general strike was called. Outside the capital, unrest flared in a number of cities and towns, particularly in areas where National Guardsmen had massacred peasant farmers during the counterinsurgency effort. The government responded with further violence and reintroduced martial law censorship. During 1978, there were seven machine gun attacks and attempted bombings of La Prensa, now under the management of Chamorro’s widow, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro. Following Somoza's overthrow, she was a part of the FSLN-based junta from 1979 to 1980. Violeta Chamorro was elected president of Nicaragua in 1990.

Speaking about her husband to the participants of the 1998 IPI World Congress in Moscow, Violeta said: “During his whole life, Pedro Joaquín Chamorro was a tireless fighter for democracy in Nicaragua and against the dictatorship of Somoza. This cost him incarceration, torture, exile and finally death. He was warned many times that plans existed to assassinate him, yet no threat detained him from fulfilling his mission to impart the truth and preach democracy.”

They had four children:

  • Claudia Lucía Chamorro Barrios, married to Edmundo Jarquín ..., a relative of Carlos Alberto Brenes, 64th President of Nicaragua
  • Cristiana Chamorro Barrios, married to Antonio Lacayo, leading minister in President Chamorro Barrios' cabinet, and later a candidate for the Presidency.
  • Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Barrios, married to Martha Lucía Urcuyo. He was a journalist and later a politician that ran for mayor of Nicaragua's capital city of Managua.
  • Carlos Fernando Chamorro, head of the official newspaper of the Sandinista Government and later a women rights activist.

In 2000 he was named one of International Press Institute's 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past fifty years.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]