Tim Rogers

Editor of Nicaragua Dispatch. Currently a 2014 Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

Recent Posts

Historical docs show U.S. always favored Nicaragua over Panama for canal

Proposed canal route from Menocal's day

Long before President Daniel Ortega and Chinese mystery man Wang Jing teamed up to revive Nicaragua’s age-old canal complex, a studious and diligent U.S. Navy engineer named A.G. Menocal was equally determined to connect the Atlantic and Pacific through a trans-isthmian waterway cut across Nicaragua. Menocal knew his history, was familiar with Nicaragua’s terrain, and was an expert topographer. Between 1876-77, the U.S. engineer was in the employ of the Nicaraguan government surveying harbor improvements in Greytown, while carefully mapping the surrounding river basin. He was a student of previous U.S. engineers who had conducted surveys for earlier attempts to build a Nicaraguan canal in the mid 19th century. He particularly admired the work of Col. Continue Reading →

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Mysterious explosion caused by meteorite?

apparent area of impact

(posted Sept 7, 2:46 pm) —The mysterious explosion that occurred last night around 11 p.m. could have been caused by a small meteorite, according to preliminary findings reported this afternoon by government media. The meteorite is thought to have broken off from the asteroid 2014 RC, which passed the planet last night. A team of Nicaraguan scientists are working with the government to determine if any remains of the meteorite can be found near the apparent area of impact, located on KM 9.5 of the Carretera Norte, in a field about 300 meters from the Camino Real Hotel. Continue Reading →

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24 questions for Nicaragua’s government

chavez trees copia

While Sandinista authorities huddle to come up with an explanation for Saturday night’s mysterious explosion in Managua, here are 24 other mysteries we’d like clarified:

1) What really happened to the Air Force helicopter that crashed in June, 2013, killing 10 officers? 2) What really happened during the deadly ambush on July 19, 2014? 3) Who killed Yahob and Pablo Negro? 4) Who killed Alexis Arguello? 5) De donde salió Wang Jing? Continue Reading →

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Mysterious explosion rocks Managua

Twitter pic from scene immediately after explosion

(posted Sept 7, 7:30 am)— A strong and mysterious explosion outside the Nicaraguan Air Force base late Saturday night startled residents of Managua and exposed the failure of the government’s command-and-control media model to deliver timely and reliable information. The explosion occurred around 11 p.m., on KM 9.5 of the Carretera Norte, just outside the Air Force Base located at Sandino International Airport, in a field about 300 meters from the Camino Real Hotel. There are no immediate reports of injuries, deaths or damage. There are also no immediate reports of anything, as everyone looks at each other blinking for answers. Though the explosion was big — it was heard for miles and sent people running into the streets — Nicaraguan officials have not offered any answers as to what happened. Continue Reading →

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2 ‘contra’ groups take credit for attack in San Pedro del Norte

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At least two different groups of alleged rearmed contras are claiming credit for a fatal firefight with Nicaraguan security forces Saturday the rural area of San Pedro del Norte, in the municipality of Bocana de Paiwas, in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS). The first is shadowy self-professed contra group known as “CGN- 380,” which claims the attack was led by guerrilla leaders using the code names Noe, Enmanuel, Huracan, Moreno and Karate. According to a communiqué, the CGN-380 claim they killed five Nicaraguan soldiers and cops and injured eight more during a commando raid that lasted more than an hour. The group claims that three contra fighters were injured in the gun battle, which occurred in the small hours of Saturday morning. The CGN-380 claims the attack was part of a “patriotic struggle and resistance against the narco-dictatorship of Ortega-Murillo,” as well as against the “military presence of Cuba, Russia and China in Nicaragua,” according to its communique. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua rescues 20 miners

miner

Nicaraguan rescue workers led by miners acting as tunnel guides have successfully rescued the first 20 miners trapped in an old gold and silver mine in the northern mining zone of Bonanza. The miners, who had been trapped for more than 34 hours, were rescued Friday night, following a full day of steadily increasing rescue efforts. Two other miners managed to escape on their own, and an additional five miners are thought still to be trapped somewhere in the earth’s bowels, according to press reports. The 20 rescued miners, ages 18-30, were saved by a joint team of rescue workers from Managua, firemen, soldiers, and other miners who led the dangerous missing down the rickety ladders and through the tunnels of the old Hemco mine. “How heroic, those artisanal miners,” cooed First Lady Rosario Murillo. Continue Reading →

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Nicaraguan police nab 8 more in massacre

The suspects

Nicaragua’s National Police have captured eight men — one allegedly with ties to the Mexican drug cartel known as “Los Zetas” — who will face charges of authoring and executing the July 19 attack on a Sandinista caravan, which killed five people and injured 24 others. Police Chief Aminta Granera called a press conference Thursday afternoon in Managua to present the eight men to the press. The men, handcuffed and dressed identically in gray t-shirts and blue pants, were paraded out by masked police officers. A ninth suspect remains at large, according to police. Granera was quick to dismiss suspicions that the suspects belonged to a rearmed contra group, despite the apparently political nature of the attack. Continue Reading →

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