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Honduran Guerrillas Blamed for Contra Killing

January 23, 1989

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) _ A clandestine radio broadcast by Nicaraguan rebels on Monday accused Honduran guerrillas of helping assassinate a Contra military commander earlier this month.

Manuel Adan Rugama Acevedo, a regional commander of anti-government Nicaraguan rebels known as Contras, was shot and killed Jan. 7 as he drove a jeep in Tegucigalpa. Contras mount attacks on Nicaragua from Honduras.

Monday’s rebel broadcast, made by a ″Commander Jackson,″ repeated accusations that Nicaraguan government commandos killed Rugama, also known as ″Commander Aureliano.″

But it also said Honduras’ Popular Liberation Forces, a communist guerrilla group, took part in the attack.

The Popular Liberation Forces have not claimed responsibility for Rugama’s shooting. The leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua claims it stemmed from Contra infighting.

The Popular Liberation Forces emerged in 1979 as the first armed group of the Honduran Communist Party, which has operated underground since it was founded in 1950. Authorities blame the group for more than 10 attacks against U.S. companies in Honduras, the hijackings of three commercial airliners, and the kidnappings of businessmen.

In July 1988, the group claimed responsibility for an attack at a discotheque in San Pedro Sula that injured six U.S. soldiers.

Rugama was buried Jan. 13 in San Francisco, where his mother, Elsa Acevedo, lives.

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