Tags: contras | sandinistas | nicaragua | daniel ortega

Contras Return to Nicaragua to Fight Ortega

Contras Return to Nicaragua to Fight Ortega
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 08 March 2016 03:32 PM

More than a quarter-century after the contras defeated the leftist Sandinista government of President Daniel Ortega, they are back — and again battling the Nicaraguan leader, who was re-elected in 2006 and has imposed heavy restrictions across the Central American country.

"Daniel Ortega wasn't anything, and now he owns half of Nicaragua," a rebel fighter who calls himself Tyson told The New York Times.

Today's contras are not as strong as those receiving international aid during the Reagan administration of the 1980s — and they "have resorted" to raising money by becoming involved in drug trafficking, Bishop Abelardo Mata, a local Roman Catholic leader, told the Times.

"It is a silent, dirty war that is not recognized," he said.

Ortega's government denies that the rebel groups still exist, despite sporadic attacks on police stations and killings of Sandinistas and known contras.

"There are no armed groups in this country," Julio C�sar Avil�s, head of the Nicaraguan army, said last year, the Times reports. "I have said it on multiple occasions."

Ortega still enjoys strong support among the country's poor residents, but he has outraged others for his sweeping control over elections, the legislature — along with the military, the police and the courts.

"The army is killing people who were contras in the past," Jos� Rodr�guez, 38, told the Times.

He was injured last year when a backpack sent to the contras via courier exploded.

"They are mounting operations against us by paying off civilians," he added. "It is very difficult to win if they pay people off."

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More than a quarter-century after the contras defeated the leftist Sandinista government of President Daniel Ortega, they are back — and again battling the Nicaraguan leader, who was re-elected in 2006 and has imposed heavy restrictions across the Central American country.
contras, sandinistas, nicaragua, daniel ortega
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2016-32-08
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 03:32 PM
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