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German Says Misura Indians treated her well

July 6, 1985

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) _ A West German woman freed by Nicaraguan Indian guerrillas after almost three weeks of captivity said Friday her captors initially were aggressive toward her but later treated her well.

Regine Schmemann, 34, who was captured June 14 near Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, where she had been doing volunteer work for the Sandinista government, was turned over to the Honduran army near the border and brought to the capital Thursday.

″The Indian guerrillas initially accused me of being a communist,″ Ms. Schmemann said in a brief news conference. ″They were very aggressive, but after being with Misura for two days they treated me well, and shared their food and cigarettes with me.″

The Misura rebels, who are fighting to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government, said they captured Ms. Schmemann after they ambushed a jeep she was travelling in with two Nicaraguans. According to the rebels, someone in the jeep returned fire, wounding a rebel in the leg, then all three surrendered.

Ms. Schmemann said Friday that the guerrillas captured her and the two Nicaraguans without a fight.

″They approached and asked us to get down from the vehicle,″ she said. ″I tried to explain to them what I was doing in Nicaragua ... and they said they didn’t want foreigners in their country.″

Misura political coordinator Roger Hermann said the two Nicaraguans captured with Ms. Schmemann would be released only in exchange for five Misura rebels in jails in Managua.

The Misura is a rebel group composed of Miskito, Sumo and Rama Indians who live along Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. Many of them have been forced by the Sandinista government to relocate elsewhere in Nicaragua.

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