Nicaragua The Sad Saga of a Sandalista

An American death stirs sorrow, outrage and propaganda

A harsh afternoon sun was setting as the cortege made its way up the steep incline. Some of the men, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Saavedra among them, rotated as pallbearers. At the hilltop cemetery overlooking Matagalpa, a city 75 miles northeast of Managua, the crowd of more than 1,000 paid their final respects to Benjamin Linder, 27, an engineer from Oregon who died last week of shrapnel wounds suffered during a contra attack. He was the first American volunteer working on behalf of the Sandinistas to die in Nicaragua's five-year-old civil war. Linder's parents and two siblings had flown in from...

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