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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06MANAGUA710 2006-03-29 14:42:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Managua
Cable title:  

CPDH FINDS MORE EVIDENCE OF SANDINISTA 1980S

Tags:   PHUM PREL PGOV KDEM KCRM NU 
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VZCZCXYZ0016
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #0710/01 0881442
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 291442Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5771
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
					C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAGUA 000710 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR D, DRL AND WHA/CEN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/27/2016
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KDEM KCRM NU
SUBJECT: CPDH FINDS MORE EVIDENCE OF SANDINISTA 1980S
ATROCITIES IN SECOND TRIP TO ATLANTIC COAST

REF: A. 05 MANAGUA 1117

B. 05 MANAGUA 2426

C. 05 MANAGUA 2646

D. 05 MANAGUA 2998

E. MANAGUA 119

Classified By: AMBASSADOR PAUL TRIVELLI. REASONS 1.4 (B,D).



1. (C) SUMMARY: Between March 14-23, representatives of the
Nicaraguan Permanent Human Rights Commission (CPDH) NGO
carried out the second of three planned trips to Nicaragua's
Atlantic Coast to document charges of crimes against humanity
and genocide brought against Sandinista leaders for acts
committed against the Miskito ethnic group in the early
1980s. On March 24, the CPDH brought Vidal Poveda Muller, a
survivor of the infamous 1981 Leimus massacre, to the Embassy
to meet visiting DRL PDAS Jonathan Farrar. The CPDH will
make its final trip to the Atlantic Coast on April 18 and
plans to file the accumulated charges with domestic
institutions by the end of May. Assuming the case goes
nowhere in Nicaragua (the likely outcome), the CPDH will file
the case with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(IACHR) at the end of August. The Miskito community strongly
supports the CPDH investigation, but wants to be certain that
the USG will see the case through to conclusion. END SUMMARY.



2. (C) CPDH leaders Nicholas Bolanos, Raymond Genie, and
Marcos Carmona came to the Embassy on March 24 to provide a
readout on the second CPDH trip and to meet visiting PDAS
Jonathan Farrar. Accompanying the CPDH leaders was Vidal
Poveda Muller, a survivor of the December 23, 1981 Leimus
massacre where Sandinista forces executed 36 Miskito males.
While the first CPDH trip to the coast focused on documenting
complaints of murder, torture, and disappearance in the area
around Puerto Cabezas, this time the CPDH team traveled along
the Rio Coco (Nicaragua's border with Honduras) to the remote
Miskito communities along the river where the Sandinistas
committed many of their worst abuses and where many of the
survivors still reside.

LEIMUS MASSACRE SURVIVOR RECOUNTS HIS STORY, SEEKS JUSTICE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



3. (C) Vidal Poveda began the meeting by relating the
details of how he survived the Leimus massacre. Poveda, who
lost an arm in the episode, recounted how the 37 men,
including his brother, were apprehended in Leimus (near the
Honduran border) on December 20, 1981 and moved to a small
shop where they were subsequently divided into groups. They
were then removed from the premises one group at a time. The
Sandinistas took his group of four men, including his
brother, to a site where they were ordered to dig a common
grave and bury those who had been executed in the previous
group. Next, they were ordered to leave and were shot as
they tried to flee.



4. (C) Poveda was struck by three bullets but managed to
escape to Honduras. He explained that all of the men were
Miskitos and civilians, mostly small farmers, ranchers, and
carpenters. A Moravian pastor and his son were among the
victims. According to Poveda, one of the executioners,
Eliseo Ingram, resides in the United States. POL arranged a
meeting for Poveda with OAS demining program director Carlos
Orozco to discuss the provision of a prosthesis and therapy
for Poveda and to seek OAS help to demine the area
surrounding the common Leimus grave. CPDH leaders have told
emboffs that such assistance for survivors of Sandinista
abuses on the Atlantic Coast is crucial because the FSLN is
actively seeking to buy off destitute survivors by offering
them money and houses in return for dropping their
complaints. (NOTE: On March 27, the CPDH called to inform us
that the OAS Demining Assistance Program will provide Poveda
a prosthesis and therapy.)

CPDH PLANS FINAL TRIP TO COAST AND WILL THEN FILE LEGAL
COMPLAINTS IN DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



5. (C) The CPDH will make its third trip to the Atlantic Coast on April 18, focusing on the area around the municipality of Prinzapolka to the south of Puerto Cabezas. They are aware of at least fifteen different abuse cases in that region, and will also investigate allegations of a mass grave containing over forty people killed by the Sandinista army. Thus far, they have gathered written, notarized, and video-taped testimony for 89 cases of Sandinista abuses against the Miskito, including execution, torture, forced relocation, and destruction of property. They expect to finish their work and submit it to the national prosecutor by late May and then to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by late August. In the meantime, they will hold a series of media events highlighting their findings. They held their first event right before the March 5 Atlantic Coast elections and it may have deterred some voters from voting FSLN. As noted in reftel E, the CPDH will soon submit a proposal to the Embassy for Department funding for the second (international) phase of the effort to bring the FSLN leadership to justice. The International Republican Institute (IRI) has also submitted a proposal for DRL funding to work with a local NGO such as CPDH on these issues. Post strongly supports this IRI proposal.

MISKITO LEADER WANTS ASSURANCES OF USG COMMITMENT TO CASE
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



6. (C) In a separate meeting on March 27, ex-Contra Osorno
("Blas") Coleman, who is the main force behind the Miskito
complaint against the FSLN leadership, told poloffs that he
had accompanied the CPDH representatives on their second trip
to the coast and will be with them for the third trip as
well. Coleman stated that the CPDH investigation has been
well received by the local population. Coleman emphasized
that the Miskito community wants to be sure that the USG will
see their case through to the end and not lose interest
midway. Coleman opined that failure to pursue the case to an
IACHR verdict would be devastating to victims and their
families, as well as to those local leaders (including
Coleman) who are putting their lives and credibility on the
line by taking on the formidable FSLN political machine.



7. (C) Coleman shared that other prominent leaders of the
Yatama political party of which Coleman is a part have been
bought by the FSLN, including Steadman Fagoth and party
leader Brooklyn Rivera, and are doing all they can to
undermine the CPDH investigation and persuade Miskitos to
change their stories in return for FSLN largesse. According
to Coleman, Fagoth is openly challenging the investigation
and blaming the USG for all 1980s rights abuses on the coast,
while Rivera is more subtly arguing against the investigation
behind the scenes.
TRIVELLI