Central America: Zero Scores One

A success at the contras' southern front

Forty weatherbeaten shacks and a grassy airstrip by a swampy river delta may not seem like much of a military stronghold. "But in the year-old guerrilla war along Nicaragua's southern border with Costa Rica, the jungle hamlet of San Juan del Norte has taken on a symbolic importance well beyond its dubious strategic value. After three days of pitched battle two weeks ago, contra guerrillas from the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance (ARDE) overwhelmed the Sandinista garrison in the town and scored their first major military victory....

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