The conspiracy of los duendes is a popular conspiracy theory that has been circulating around Nicaragua for centuries. With beginnings rooting deep in indigenous beliefs and traditions, los duendes share similarities with the legends of bigfoot and the chupacabra. Locals describe them as dwarflike, hyperintelligent and mischievous beings that steal children and livestock at night.
The history of los duendes does not have clear origin, but it can be inferred that these creatures were born out of indiginous religious practices in Nicaragua. As the legend goes, los duendes are bad spirits that are bent on harming humans. Los duendes come out at their peak activity hour of 8 in the evening and steal unsuspecting children from their families. They are invisible to adults, making their task much easier. They travel in groups-of 5 or more-but usually live in groupings of thousands. The sight of one will make any mortal cry. The reason they steal children is to take them back to their mountain dwellings and convert them into new duendes to terrorize the countryside. Their appearance is of a five year old child, with the face of an old man. They have short hair and dark skin.
Proponents of this story include indigenous Nicaraguans and residents of small pueblos around the countryside. It is orally passed down from generation to generation.
This conspiracy theory follows a recognizeable pattern that a majority of these "monster" stories fall into. Something is missing or stolen, and the indigeonous people blame it on a bad spirit or monster instead of looking for a logical explanation. The story of los duendes is no different. This story might have originated from a child going missing in a village and the devoutly pagan villagers scrambling for an explanation. The logic of the villagers, however, does not follow any tried and true pattern, nor does it make indisputable sense. Blaming events on 'bad spirits' cannot adequately explain the phenomena. Furthermore, the description of los duendes is quite farfetched. Midgets with old man faces resembling dwarves that live in the mountains of Managua and come down to steal children from innocent villagers seems like a storybook tale.
Carbone, Chris. (2010) Rincon de las hadas y los duendes. Web sin dairio. http://rincondelashadas.webcindario.com/indexduendes.htm
(2010). Cuentas y Leyendas de Nicaragua. Los Duendes. Manfut.org. http://www.manfut.org/leyendas/duendes.html.
(2009) Los Duendes roba niños. El Nuevo Diario. Managua, Nicaragua. http://impreso.elnuevodiario.com.ni/2009/01/1El 5/suplemento/misteriosyenigmas/9971.