Nicaragua No-Man's-Land

An evacuation in the north

Humberto Torres sat in a lean-to in a camp about 100 miles north of Managua last week, cradling the youngest of his five children, as he recalled his forced evacuation in March from Los Encuentros, a hamlet in northern Nicaragua. "The Sandinistas made us get out," he said, "because they told us they were going to destroy the houses." Like some 50,000 other peasants, Torres, 56, and his family have been moved south by the government in an effort to isolate an estimated 8,000 U.S.-supported contra rebels roaming through Nicaragua's five northern provinces. Villages are being emptied--some destroyed--in an operation that...

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