Two Indian Groups Seek Unification Agreement
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) _ Two Indian rebel groups will attempt to join forces in their fight against Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government, a spokesman said Thursday.
Raul Tobias, a military commander of the Misura group based in Honduras, said five of the organization’s directors will meet Friday in the United States with Brooklyn Rivera, leader of the smaller, Costa Rica-based Misurasata.
He did not disclose the location of the meeting.
Tobias said the unification effort was possible because Rivera broke off talks with the Nicaraguan government last week. Misura has refused to negotiate with the Sandinistas.
Rivera, who reportedly commands 2,000 rebels, accused the Sandinistas of trying to impose a cease-fire without seriously considering the Indians’ claims. He split from the Misura, which claims 5,000 fighters, in 1982.
″When negotiating, Brooklyn told his troops to stop fighting,″ Tobias said. ″Now that the negotiations have failed, they’ll join us and begin fighting again.″
The organizations’ names come from the Miskito, Sumo and Rama tribes that live on Nicaragua’s isolated Caribbean coast.
In January 1982, the Nicaraguan government uprooted nearly 10,000 Indians from communities along the Coco River that forms the boundary between Nicaragua and Honduras.
Sandinista officials said the relocation was necessary so the Miskitos would not become accidental victims of the government’s war with the rebels, but it provoked widespread anger among the Indians.
The government said after the negotiations with Rivera failed that it would soon allow thousands of Indians to return to their ancestral homelands. It said the government ″laments the unilateral rupture of talks on the part of Rivera″ and ″maintains its willingness to continue them whenever requested.″
In a separate development, a Misurasata leader in San Jose, Costa Rica, said Nicaraguan soldiers captured and executed 11 Misurasata rebels without trial last month near the main Caribbean port of Bluefields.
Joaquin Suazo, general coordinator of Misurasata, said in a statement distributed to reporters Wednesday that the soldiers caught the rebels during a disturbance May 11 and executed them by firing squad.
The report could not be confirmed independently.