Nicaragua: Keeping It All in the Family

President Chamorro promised to run an open government, but cronyism and dealings by her son-in-law (and chief adviser) have muddied that pledge

With his owlish gaze, lithe step and limber tongue, Antonio Lacayo Oyanguren looks and acts like the Jesuit-trained postgraduate of M.I.T. that he is. For most of his 45 years, he has labored in profitable obscurity. During nearly 11 years of rule by the Sandinista National Liberation Front, Lacayo, the son of one wealthy family who married into another, tended to business, leaving Nicaragua's treacherous politics to others.

He could no longer maintain that low profile after his mother-in-law, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, defeated the Sandinistas and became President of Nicaragua in April 1990. Lacayo, who served as Chamorro's campaign director,...

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