Benjamin Linder – Presente!

Twenty-seven years ago Ben Linder was killed by U.S. backed counterrevolutionary forces while building small hydroelectric dams to bring electricity to remote villages in the mountains of northern Nicaragua. Ben was only twenty-seven years of age when he was murdered along with two co-workers, Pablo Rosales and Sergio Hernandez.

During the 1980’s people like Ben, Pablo and Sergio were deliberately targeted throughout Nicaragua by contra forces as part of a U.S. military doctrine called of “low intensity warfare” in which the intent is to terrorize the civilian population. During the 1980’s, the United States sponsored contra forces targeted the civilian population with the objective of destroying the Sandinista revolution.

However, Ben’s murder deepened opposition to U.S. intervention in Nicaragua and Central America by shining light on the devastating impact of U.S. sponsored counterinsurgency wars.  Today I found these words of Ben that express his concern for the impact of U.S. policy that raged around him 27 years ago:

"I see the kids and I feel like taking them all away to a safe place to hide until the war stops and the hunger stops and El Cuá becomes strong enough to give them the care they deserve. The pied piper of El Cuá. But I can’t do that, and even if I could it wouldn’t help the neighboring towns. So instead, I try to put in light, and hope for the best."

On this 27th anniversary of his murder, we thank Ben for his gift of light and hope.

 Benjamin Linder – Presente