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Political Violence Flares in Nicaragua

November 5, 1991

NANDAIME, Nicaragua (AP) _ President Violeta Chamorro told a packed church to pray for reconciliation Monday after a resurgence of political violence that coincided with a power struggle between her government and the Sandinistas.

At least one person was killed and nine were wounded in weekend violence. The house of Vice President Virgilio Godoy was the target of gunfire for the second time in five weeks, but no one was hurt.

Mrs. Chamorro’s conservative coalition defeated the leftist Sandinistas in February 1990 elections. Violence broke out two weeks ago when the National Assembly began redrafting a property law strongly opposed by Sandinista leaders.

Many see the attacks on Godoy and other violence as part of a campaign to frighten the government into backing off a law that would force return of millions of dollars in state property the Sandinistas awarded themselves after losing the elections.

″I don’t tire of asking all Nicaraguans to lay down their weapons,″ the president said in an interview. ″This is not the time for retaliation. Nicaraguans must give the world an example by being forgiving.″

The church congregation in Nandaime, 40 miles southeast of the capital, applauded when she told them to ″pray for the unity of all Nicaraguans and for reconciliation.″

Gunfire wounded three men Sunday near La Concepcion when about 60 people shot their way into a farm whose owners retook it by force three weeks ago.

″There was shooting for at least three hours and three members of the ... (occupying) family were wounded,″ Felix Palma, an Interior Ministry official, reported.

On Friday, Obdulio Herrera, a demobilized member of the former anti- Sandinista rebels, was killed when about 300 non-Sandinista cane cutters tried to break into a sugar mill taken over by Sandinista workers 63 miles northwest of Managua.

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