Sergio Ramírez – Politician and Literary Figure

As part of the historic Group of Twelve, Nicaraguan writer and politician Sergio Ramírez features prominently in the history of his home country’s struggle for freedom from the Somoza dictatorship. In 1985 to 1990, he served as Vice President of Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega’s presidency, and served in the Government Junta of National Reconstruction prior to that. In addition to his busy political life, Ramírez has continued to contribute to the literary culture of Nicaragua through his writings, for which he has received numerous commendations and awards.

Sergio Ramírez Mercado was born in Masatepe on 5 August 1942, completing his education at the Universidad Nacional Autóma de Nicaragua of León, receiving the Gold Medal for best student in 1964. In 1964 his first book, Cuentos was published, with subsequent works including De Tropeles y Tropelías in 1971; El Pensamiento vivo de Sandino in 1975; Charles Atlas también muere (1976); ¿Te dio miedo la sangre? (1978); Castigo Divino (1988); Clave de Sol (1993); Un baile de mascaras (1995); Cuentos Completos (1998); Margarita, está linda la mar (1998); Adiós muchachos (1999); Mentiras Verdaderas and Catalina y Catalina (2001); Sombras nada más (2002); Mil y una muertes (2004); and El Reino Animal (2006). He has also been a participant in the Stock Exchange of Visions – an initiative featuring visions for the future from respected personalities from diverse cultures, nationalities and fields of expertise.

The Group of Twelve, of which Ramírez was head in 1977, was a group of influential members of Nicaraguan society who openly supported the FSLN in its efforts to topple the Somoza dictatorship. When this was achieved with the Revolution in 1979, Ramírez became part of the Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction, heading up the National Council of Education. He was sworn in as vice-president of Nicaragua in 1985, and following the UNO coalition taking power in 1990, he continued to serve in the National Assembly representing the Sandinista block until 1995. Due to differences with other leaders of the FSLN, Ramírez established the MRS (Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista) and made an unsuccessful bid for presidency in 1996. Sergio Ramírez has since retired from politics, but his contribution to the shaping of modern-day Nicaragua remains in the history of this exotic Central American country.