Envío Digital
Central American University - UCA  
  Number 173 | Diciembre 1995




Envío team


Antonio Lacayo inaugurated the Managua campaign headquarters of his National Project (PRONAL) in mid October, giving out posters and banners in several neighborhoods of the capital, in what he called "Operation Normandy 95," recalling the Allied victory in 1945. "We already defeated the Marxists in 1990 and cannot allow the ashes of Somocismo and Communism to revive now," said Lacayo in the inauguration ceremony.

Meanwhile, on November 5, Edén Pastora announced that he would run for the Nicaraguan presidency in 1996 as a candidate of the Democratic Action Movement (MAD), which he founded in 1993. Pastora, the famous "Comandante Zero" who headed the Sandinista takeover of the National Palace in 1978, left his post as Vice Minister of Defense in 1981 to later head up the contra movement in the southeast part of the country known as ARDE. He says he is confident of victory because he is counting on the "memory vote." He will have to joggle memories a bit better than he did in the 1994 regional elections in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region, where ARDE focused its military activities in the mid 1980s in an alliance with the indigenous armed organization MISURASATA. MAD only got 2% of the vote there in 1994 and won no seats in the new Regional Council.


Debates over the property bill and the bill to privatize TELCOR have notably set back the debate and approval of a new electoral law. On October 17, Supreme Electoral Council president Mariano Fiallos, urged by the implacable calendar even though he has no new law to work from, decided to set the date for the 1996 general elections. The first round will be held on Sunday, October 20. If a second round is necessary because no presidential candidate receives at least 45% of the vote, it will be held on either November 24 or December 1.


No new bombings of Catholic church installations have occurred since September 19. The National Police assigned 220 of its members to guard 125 churches day and night beginning in August. National Police Chief Fernando Caldera says the "bomb setters got yellow" when they learned that technical experts from the FBI would be coming to investigate the deeds, "because they are a band of terrorist cowards." Cardinal Obando y Bravo said that we may learn the names of those behind the bombings "on the Day of Judgment."
Meanwhile, a delegation from the Vatican that visited the country at the end of October confirmed that the Pope will come to Nicaragua on February 7, 1996, as part of a tour that includes Guatemala, El Salvador and Venezuela. John Paul II will be in Managua eight hours and will celebrate an open air mass in the plaza on the edge of Lake Xolotlán, built by the revolutionary government in 1986.


The Interamerican Development Bank officially announced that it will begin its $50 million project to clean up Lake Xolotlán, also known as Lake Managua, in 1996. The process, based on oxidation ponds, will show less contamination by the year 2000.

Some 200 million liters of contaminated water flow into the lake daily. The contaminants come from three sources: Managua's sewers, sediment from deforested lands around the lake, and the industrial waste of 60 neighboring factories, which includes mercury and lead.


After the torrential rains that fell over the whole country between August and October, preliminary data of the damage caused to crops, pasture areas, highways and roads have begun to appear. An estimated 70% of the national bean harvest from the first planting was lost, while 170 kms. of asphalt highway were destroyed in the department of Nueva Segovia and 370 kms. of secondary roads were washed away in its coffee zone.


According to a report by the Nicaraguan Human Rights Center, Nicaragua's penal population by mid 1995 was 3,501 people, with an average monthly increase of 2.18%. The penitentiary system dedicates only 5 córdobas a day to feeding each prisoner (8 córdobas = $1). About 70% of the prisoners sleep on the floor and there has been no budget for any reeducation programs since 1990.

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Agrarian Property and Stability

Two Just Laws: 85 and 86

Privatizing TELCOR: Not the Only or Best Solution

Poverty: An Incurable Epidemic?

El Salvador
Does this Economic Model have a Future?

The Election Scene

Dialogue Amid Storms and Tremors

One Year After Aristide's Return

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