NICARAGUA: Somoza's Reign of Terror

A 15-man patrol of the crack "General Somoza" battalion surrounded the village of Varilla in Nicaragua's Zelaya province. With the troops were several jueces de mesta (police magistrates). The official charge that brought them there: five of Varilla's campesino families had aided antigovernment guerrillas. The soldiers shot, bayoneted or strangled four men, eleven women and 29 children. After dumping the bodies in an unmarked pit, the magistrates divided the villagers' land among themselves.

The massacre at Varilla two months ago was not unique, according to a pastoral letter by Nicaragua's Roman Catholic...

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