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US volunteer Ben Linder killed by contra 30 years ago

News from Nicaragua | Thursday, 27 April 2017 |

Thirty years ago, US mechanical engineer and clown Ben Linder and two Nicaraguan co-workers were killed in northern Nicaragua by the US backed contra forces.

Ben went to Nicaragua in 1983 to work on hydroelectric projects that today provide energy to the community, schools, clinics and campesinos in the region and to entertain children with his clowning skills. It was there that he and his co-workers were killed on a project to ‘transform water into light’ making a difference to the lives of campesino farmers trapped in a war zone.

"He did not come with a planeload of guns, he came with a planeload of dreams.” Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, April 1987.

Ben was one of tens of thousands of international volunteers who visited Nicaragua in the 1980s to witness and contribute to the rebuilding of Nicaragua and to condemn the brutal military and economic war inflicted on the country by the Reagan administration.

Bryan Moore, senior instructor in Spanish at the University of Oregon, visited Nicaragua with Ben in the 1980s and pays this tribute to him. ‘In this painful time of renewed violence and frightening uncertainty, we can look to Ben Linder as an inspiration to not only stand up in resistance but also to work to transform horrific violence into peace, prosperity and justice.’

‘During the 1980s, with our nation’s shameless acts of aggression against the people of Nicaragua and other Central American countries, Ben stated, “I wish I could take the children to a safe place until the war ends.” Yet he always worked to bring happiness and safety to children in the midst of unimaginable conditions imposed by U.S. military intervention.’

American Sandinista by Jason Blalock tells the story of Ben Linder in the context of Sandinista Nicaragua and the US backed contra war.https://vimeo.com/164374028

For the full article written by Brian Moore http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/35474060-78/man-killed-in-nicaragua-continues-to-inspire.html.csp