San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaraguan military denies existence of rearmed Contras


          The head of the Nicaraguan Army is categorically denying the existence of a rearmed contra group in the mountains of Nicaragua, following what was essentially a declaration of guerrilla warfare issued last week by a man known as “Comandante Yahob.”
Yahob, a former contra special forces commander, claims he is rearmed and ready to “fight against the dictatorship and the pacto (the power-sharing pact between President Daniel Ortega and opposition leader Arnoldo Alemán).” Yahob claims to represent the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN).
          The military, however, says he is a common criminal and another guerrilla war here is not a possibility.
          “The war has ended; there are no conditions for armed groups to operate here,” said Gen. Julio César Avilés in comments to the press.
          Avilés said “Yahob” is a common criminal who is wanted for the murder of another ex contra named “Piraña.” Avilés said the military has intelligence information that Yahob has been crossing into Honduras trying to make contacts with other “delinquent groups.”
The army chief said Yahob is simply trying to avoid Nicaraguan justice by claiming that his struggle is political.
But other ex-contra leaders claim Yahob is a real danger and that it would be an error to dismiss him as a harmless common criminal.
For more on this story, see this week’s print or digital edition of The Tico Times. 

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