He was born on July 25, 1963. He had a tough life since childhood: his father died when he was 3, so he had to work to help his family. He used to say that, when he was 9, he was already a pawn in the neighbors farms to provide for his family.

Santiago became a cop when he was 18, what filled him of stories and knowledge of the world and the people, which many years laters made him seem older than what he actually was.

He was a worker in the banana’s plantations in Matina; an orange harvester in Ticofruit; and agricultor in borrowed lands; a pigs and cows breeder; a street vendor, and a keeper, among many other works, because he was one of those that don’t withdraw before anything.

He was once a good soccer player, and he even competed with “Officer Gómez”. He was a passionate soccer fan and good team coach. He formed a wonderful team in the last canton championship with Hernández’s people.

Over the last 15 years of his life, he did a notable work for the community. He was a member of development organizations and people’s committees. He used to say, proudly, that the school El Parque exists thanks to a commune struggle that he was part of.

He was known by everyone in the village as an honored man and worker, what made him feel really proud.

Today, workers and peasants lose a great comrade.

Santiago fought for over 6 years for a land in the region of Medio Queso; and he was a member of the peasants’ committee since 2012, together with Yessenia, Reném Martha, Carmen, Miguel and Olimpo. He was undeniable responsible for one of the greatest peasants’ victories of the last decades in the country.

I met him 4 years ago, when I arrived in Los Chiles as part of my militant work, and since then he was my friend and mentor in all aspects of life.

He was a leader of the PT in Los Chiles… of those indispensable ones. Today, we lost someone indispensable.

Always doubting and questioning in the meetings, he was a natural Trotskyist, which brought countless valuable elements to our victories, and who also managed to be patient at the defeats and crisis, so normal to what we do. He defended first-line the unity of the party during the last months of last year.

He taught me thousands of things: soccer, agriculture, policy, and even how to shoot a rifle. He always had a story and a valuable advice to explain the things of life.

I will never forget he accompanied me in my first strike on the Pineapple company Santa Fe. At 3 am he picked me up and told me many stories along the way to help me control my nerves, on March 3rd. He is responsible for planting the seed of the union so needed by the workers in this country.

A few days ago, at the hospital bed, he encouraged me to continue the struggle and not to give ears to my fears. He was definitely a thousand times braver than me.

“Chago” left leaving an indelible path of struggles, work, and love that will remain forever. He left part of the land he earned struggling to his two sons, plus hundreds of friends, comrades and good moments in this world.

Hopefully, Francis, his wife and brave comrade, manages to find peacefulness before this difficult situation; same as his family, who loved him so much.

I fully trust that life will have millions of workers and peasants as Santiago Aguinaga. The world will be different, and much better.

Santiago made me a better human being, a better revolutionary, and for that, I owe him so much.

Comrade Santiago, to Socialism!

Jouseth Chaves, leader of PT Costa Rica.