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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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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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US extends property waiver for Nicaragua

US Embassy in Managua

The U.S. government today announced another one-year extension of its annual “property waiver” for Nicaragua, granting the Sandinista government access to U.S. bilateral aid and support for multilateral funding for another year. The waiver, granted to Nicaragua every year since 1995, was renewed as a reward for Nicaragua’s continued efforts to resolve pending property claims from U.S. citizens whose properties were confiscated by the Sandinista government in the 1980s. Cases are “resolved” when the original owner get his or her land back or is indemnified by the Nicaraguan government, according to the U.S.

The Sandinista government resolved an additional 52 property cases from 28 claimants during the last waiver cycle, from July 2013 to July 2014. An additional 154 property claims — including some of the most complicated cases filed— remain pending, according to the U.S. government. Over the past 19 years, Nicaragua has forked over nearly $1.28 billion in compensations to thousands of U.S. and Nicaraguan citizens whose properties were confiscated by Sandinistas in the 1980

The U.S. government used to grant Nicaragua two waivers each year, one for budget transparency and the other for property confiscations. Continue Reading →

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Nicaragua community photos on #nicadispatch

a san ramon

Community contributors to The Nicaragua Dispatch continue to show the beauty, charm and idiosyncratic wonder of the “land of lakes and volcanoes” in our user-generated Instagram feature #nicadispatch. This week’s featured photos come to us from across the Pacific coast. All readers of The Nicaragua Dispatch are welcome to participate by publishing their Instagram photos of Nicaragua directly to our site using hashtag #nicadispatch. Here are this week’s winners:

‘Pitaya Stand in Rivas’ by @masfreeolas

“Curiosity” by @fifo9x

 

“Maria Auxiliadora Church in Granada” by tmpyne

 

“Mason Jar Juice” by @stephie1909

Punta Jesus Maria, Ometepe Island by @professionalsabbatical

“Sunset in San Juan del Sur” by @danrobinsonphoto

Continue Reading →

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Nicaraguan police nab 4 after massacre

FASN

(posted July 20, 6:00 pm) — Nicaraguan police have detained four suspects who are being questioned for their alleged role in this morning’s massacre of five people in coordinated assaults on two buses in Matagalpa. Nicaraguan Police Chief Aminta Granera said four suspects have been taken into custody for questioning. She did not say who the suspects were, or what their alleged motivation was. Meanwhile, an unknown self-proclaimed rearmed contra group calling itself the Armed Forces for National Salvation- Army of the People (FASN-EP) has claimed responsibility for the attack on social media. The group, which was unknown before today, and claims it will fight state terrorism with terrorism of its own, said “We have no reason to fear the oppressor.” The group, whose alleged membership is unknown, claims that Sunday’s attack is “just an example of the operations we have coordinated on a national level.”

It’s not clear who FASN-EP is, whether they are real or responsible for the attack. Continue Reading →

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