Nicaragua: Deadly Ambush

A grisly massacre of civilians

Even at the best of times driving a carmioneta—a pickup truck converted into a local bus—from the northern farming hamlet of San José de Bocay to the village of Jinotega, seven hours away, is a nerve-searing experience. The winding road runs through an area infiltrated by U.S.-supported contras who are waging a cat-and-mouse war along the Honduran border against Nicaragua's Sandinista regime. Although there have been contra ambushes before, last week's was particularly grisly.

Driver José Antonio Blandón, 28, was concentrating on potholes when a band of perhaps 50 armed men suddenly appeared in front of...

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