Envío Digital
Central American University - UCA  
  Number 169 | Agosto 1995





On June 15, hours after the political agreement between the executive and legislative negotiators was signed in Nicaragua, some 30 Sandinista agricultural producers took over the National Assembly to demand that both branches resolve the property problem. By the time this issue of envío went to press, three weeks later, the Assembly building was still occupied, forcing the legislators to hold their sessions elsewhere.

The next day, on the 14th anniversary of the Agrarian Reform, 6,000 farmers affiliated to the Union of Farmers and Ranchers (UNAG) came from all over the country to march through the streets of Managua demanding property titles for their lands and access to credit. According to UNAG, over 500,000 acres of land (in individual or cooperative properties) in the hands of 20,000 families are still not legalized.

In addition, about 1,000 worker shareholders of privatized state farms continued their "camp in" on the grounds of the Central American University (UCA) and the agricultural research and technical assistance center called CIPRES across the street, also demanding titles to their property. All are members of the Farmworkers Association (ATC), which spearheaded the 1991 fight to get state farms privatized to workers and to former combatants from both sides.

In the absence of a response from the government, the campers have continued sleeping, eating and maintaining what they can of their daily hygiene throughout the month of June, in full view of passersby on the main avenue running between the UCA and CIPRES. All of this has put a strain on UCA facilities, causing its directors to finally issue a communiqué, questioning such prolonged activity and exhorting the leaders not to "impose their styles, methods and times" and to "respect peasant culture and organizations."


Ultra conservative US Senator Jesse Helms has sponsored a fight to introduce an amendment to the Immigration and Naturalization Law that would prohibit entrance into the United States of Nicaraguans and their families who occupy, rent, purchase or sell properties in their country that had been nationalized, confiscated or expropriated from US citizens during the Sandinista government. It is estimated that some 1,100 such properties are still in dispute, claimed by approximately 700 former owners. It is also estimated that only 70 of these 700 were US citizens at the time they lost their properties. The rest are Nicaraguans, many of them Somocistas, who took out US citizenship more recently. Helms' earlier ultimatum, now already a legal amendment, would cut US aid to Nicaragua if the problem of confiscated US citizens was not resolved. The final deadline for satisfying that amendment is July 29 of this year.

Meanwhile, an equally well known US politician, former President Jimmy Carter, was scheduled to arrive in Managua in mid July to preside over a meeting on the same topic sponsored by the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) in Nicaragua. The agenda for the event, to which representatives of Nicaragua's main political and social forces were invited, involved studying proposed solutions prepared by the Carter Center. According to the Center, 40% of all Nicaraguan properties are entangled in legal conflicts.

Print text   

Send text

<< Previous   Next >>


A Parade of Images in Paris

New, Wider Households in Women's Hands

Not Yet to the Root of the Crisis

El Salvador
The San Andrés Pact: Authoritarian or Democratizing?

The Honeymoon's Over

The Many Wars Of the Centaur

Costa Rica
Figueres Succumbs to Neoliberal Orthodoxy

Envío a monthly magazine of analysis on Central America
GüeGüe: Web Hosting and Development