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Arlen Siu Bermúdez (1955 – 1975), better known as Arlen Siu , was a Nicaraguan revolutionary guerrilla.
Arlen Siu is one of the most remembered martyrs of the Sandinista Revolution. Daughter of a Nicaraguan mother and father of Chinese descent. She was killed in combat against the Nicaraguan National Guard on August 1, 1975 in El Sauce, Department of León, Nicaragua, and was known as “Jinotepe’s chinita.”
Arlen Siu’s Biography
Arlen Siu was born July 15, 1955 in the city of Jinotepe, Carazo (Nicaragua). His father, Armando Siu Lau, was born in Guangdong, China and emigrated to Nicaragua at the end of the 1940s after belonging to the Revolutionary Communist Army, after he married the Nicaraguan Rubia Bermúdez, originally from the city of Dolores, Carazo.
Arlen did his primary school at Sacred Heart of Jesus School, in Jinotepe, and his secondary school at the Immaculate College of Diriamba. After graduating, he decided to study Social Psychology at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN).
During his childhood and youth, he demonstrated his values -both civic, and spiritual-, on which he based his passion for helping others, especially the poorest. She also expressed her artistic talents: She was fond of music and learned to play the accordion, the guitar and the flute, she painted and wrote poetry. His famous poem “María Rural” was set by Carlos Mejía Godoy and played by Grupo Pancasán.
His artistic work and critical essays on Marxism and Feminism served as inspiration for both the Sandinista movement and the Nicaraguan Women’s Movement.
He collaborated in the relief of the victims of the Managua earthquake in 1972 by attending to the refugees in the camps of his hometown, Carazo. During those actions he met the Sandinista leader Ricardo Morales Avilés who promoted his involvement with the FSLN along with other young people of the city. Arlen’s brother relates that period in the following way
From here came the first boys from Jinotepe went to the mountain, it was then by waves, and here, we said that we were the guerrilla’s rearguard and that our role was to prepare the group of young people who fed the guerrilla, to become aware here locally, then this is how their struggle began.
Arlen Siu was 18 years old when he joined the Sandinistas, being contacted by Ricardo Morales Avilés and proved to be one of the most faithful militants of the revolutionary cause. She was a member of the Christian Movement and had already acquired a national celebrity level as a talented songwriter, singer, and guitarist, before joining the movement.
With his voice, his guitar and his song he denounced the kidnappings of the Somocista paramilitaries, the disappearance of the Sandinista militants, the summary executions, the torture of the members of the FSLN, the violations of the peasants, the murders of the Somocista guard in broad daylight and the reality of poverty of its people who suffered the highest rates of illiteracy and maternal and infant mortality in Latin America. A famous song of this guerrilla was “Maria Rural” where she recounts the suffering of poverty of the peasant mothers of Nicaragua, in the same way adapted to the reality of Nicaragua the “coplas de Juan Panadero” where instead of mentioning the list of fallen in Spanish resistance, mentioned the martyrs of the Sandinista guerrilla in the fight against the dictatorship.
His singing as a protest was pursued by the security agents, and more than once the soldiers of the Socialist Guard and snipers were stationed outside the university while Arlen sang at the rallies in solidarity with the political prisoners of the FSLN.
Soldiers of the National Guard of Somoza managed to locate near El Sauce, department of León, a training school of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, carrying out an attack that took the Sandinista guerrillas by surprise. A strong combat ensues. Arlen Siu and others cover the retreat of their companions for approximately two hours, until they all fall mortally wounded. She was murdered on August 1, 1975. She was barely 20 years old. The combatants Mario Estrada, Gilberto Rostrán, Julia Herrera de Pomares, Mercedes Reyes, Hugo Arévalo, Juan and Leónidas Espinoza fell to it.
Arlen Siú thus became an emblematic figure of the Sandinista struggle, since the triumph of the revolution; ports, streets, children’s centers and schools are named after him, as well as revolutionary organizations related to the FSLN ruler.
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