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  Number 93 | Abril 1989
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Nicaragua

Just the Facts: Chronology of Key Events in the Atlantic Coast, 1979-89

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1979

Nov: Formation of Misurasata (Miskitos, Sumus, Ramas, Sandinistas Working Together) as a mass indigenous organization

1980:

Feb: Creation of Nicaraguan Institute for the Atlantic Coast (INNICA), a ministerial-level body to coordinate government work
Aug: Literacy Crusade in Native Languages begins
Dec: Passage by Council of State of Decree 571, for bilingual education up to 4th grade in Atlantic Coast

1981

Feb: Arrest of top and middle-level leadership of Misurasata; conclusion of Literacy Crusade
May: Flight of Stedman Fagoth to Honduras; formation of Misura, an armed Miskito group
Aug: Publication of "Declaration of Principles" by government and FSLN regarding Indigenous Communities of Atlantic Coast
Sept: Departure of Brooklyn Rivera; withdrawal of government recognition of Misurasata
Nov-Dec: Attacks by Misura in Río Coco communities; discovery of "Red Christmas" Plan
Dec: Killing by soldiers of over a dozen Miskitos suspected of having killed seven militia members

1982

Jan: Evacuation of Río Coco communities to resettlement called Tasba Pri; 10,000 flee to Honduras
Mar: First whole community—a village of 1,600 Sumus called Musawás—taken to Honduras by Misura
July: First joint US-Honduran military maneuvers, on Honduras' Atlantic Coast
Sept: Administrative re-division of Nicaragua; province of Zelaya redesignated Special Zones I and II; creation of decentralized regional governments
Creation of Misurasata as armed organization led by Brooklyn Rivera, based in Costa Rica and allied to ARDE.

1983

Apr: Attack on Slimalila reforestation center; IRENA installations burned down and 1,250 people taken to Honduras
July-Oct: 3,000 troops of Misura and Misurasata occupy a number of villages and destroy significant economic centers; first direct attack on Puerto Cabezas
Dec: First amnesty decree; 307 Miskito prisoners freed; 1,200 residents of Miskito community of Francia Sirpi, including visiting Catholic Bishop Salvador Schlaefer, taken to Honduras by Misura

1984

June: Coast people named to top government posts in SZI and II; creation of Misatan
Oct: Official visit of Brooklyn Rivera to Atlantic coast and meetings with national government; public announcement of autonomy project
Nov: National elections; 3 coast people elected to National Assembly on Sandinista slate of candidates
Dec: Appointing of National Autonomy Commission and ratification of regional commissions; first session of negotiations with Brooklyn Rivera in Colombia

1985:

Feb: First community (Bismuna) returns to Río Coco region from Tasba Pri
Apr: Agreement signed with Rivera in which both sides agree not to initiate offensive actions
May: Negotiations broken off by Rivera; secret cease-fire accord signed with Commander Eduardo Pantin of Misura; government communiqué permitting Tasba Pri residents to return to Río Coco
June: Eduardo Pantin killed; "Principles and Policies for Exercise of Autonomy" approved by 80-member Autonomy Commission
July-Sept: Tasba Pri residents return to communities
Aug: Fagoth expelled from Honduras
Sept: Misura and hard-line Misurasata representatives meet in Honduras under CIA auspices, agree to form Kisan under leadership of Wycliffe Diego and ally formally with UNO; renewed agreement with Misura dissidents
Oct: Kisan Pro-Peace formed in Yulu; Kisan blows up Sisin River bridge
First Peace and Autonomy Commissions formed in Río Coco

1986

Jan: Brooklyn Rivera enters coast clandestinely with North American Indian leaders; Sandinista army attacks his position
Apr: 8-10,000 people from Río Coco persuaded by Kisan to cross into Honduras
May: Misurasata promised $5 million in US military aid; Yulu, sight of accords signed with Pantin named a "peace zone" and one of three pilot projects in zonal autonomy
June: Elected community representatives meet in Bluefields to discuss draft of autonomy statute; International Symposium on Autonomy held in Managua
Dec: Joint committee of SZI & II draft unified autonomy statute

1987

Jan: Constitution signed, containing key elements of autonomy principles
Mar: UNHCR air bridge effected to repatriate Miskitos from Honduras
Apr: Multiethnic Assembly of 220 community representatives debate and approve autonomy statute in Puerto Cabezas
May: Contragate testimony of Robert Owen implicates Brooklyn Rivera in payoff to break 1985 negotiations
June: US State Dept.-sponsored meeting of armed Miskito groups in Honduras results in formation of Yatama
Sept: Autonomy statute approved in National Assembly; new repatriation crossing opened at Leimus
Oct: Commander Uriel Vanegas of Yatama signs peace accord representing 400 fighters, largest accord to date
Dec-June 1988: some 5,000 refugees return from Honduras via UNHCR

1988

Feb: New round of negotiations begins with Brooklyn Rivera; basic preliminary accord signed
Mar: Miskito Comandante Osorio Coleman among those who sign Sapoá accords
May: 4th session of talks with Rivera breaks down; peace accord signed with 200 dissidents of Yatama; only a few hundred fighters remain
June: New leadership of Nicaraguan Resistance named; Wycliffe Diego of Yatama given seat on directorate for first time
Aug: Electoral law passed in National Assembly, opening way for autonomy elections in coast
Oct: Hurricane Joan levels Bluefields, forcing postponement of autonomy elections until 1990
Dec: 200 elected representatives of Peace and Autonomy Commissions on Río Coco hold annual assembly; elect sectoral leadership

1989

Jan: Pluralist Emergency Commission in Bluefields shifts to reconstruction; considered pilot project government for year preceding elections

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