Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Sergio Ramirez Mercado (Nicaragua)

Born in 1942, Sergio Ramirez Mercado began his activist career as a student leader in Leon where he studied law. He showed considerable bravery during demonstrations of students against the Somoza dictatorship. Several times he was in physical danger.

He was the General Secretary of the Confederation of Central American Universities which fought for the independency of the universities. The government and military then controlled the universities in Central America. Mercado was the leader of the „Group of 12“ organization in 1977, which worked as the civilian branch of the FSLN, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberacio?n Nacional). He also helped to unite the three tendencies of the FSLN. Among their goals, were the elimination of the death penalty and the advocacy of pluralism in society in general. In 1979 he joined the Board of Government of National Reconstruction. Five years later he became their vice president. He went on to head the National Council of Education in 1981. In 1990 Mercado founded the paper „El Semanario“ which was published for over a decade. At the same time he began the Sandinistan Renovation Movement, an organization which promoted democracy, within the Sandinista government.

When Nicaragua became a Nation State, Ramirez had considerable influence as a thinker and politician. His theories on popular culture and the national identity were particularly well received. One of his most important contributions was his definition of the word „worth“ in a patriotic context. Always a prolific author, he continues to publish his own works. In 2009 he published „Forgive and forget“ a collection of short stories.
Sergio Ramírez Mercado has published numerous works of his own. Most recently, "Forgive and Forget", a collection of short stories, was published in 2009.