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information from 'reliable source' on Ortéz & EDSN around Ocotal-Somoto 
(jan 1931)
 
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Information from a 'reliable source' on Miguel Angel Ortéz & the EDSN in the Ocotal-Somoto district

     As the war dragged on, rebels' fears of betrayal grew with more & more local people who knew about their operations, and mounting Marine & Guardia determination to stamp out "banditry" once and for all.  This report by an anonymous informant, which focused on the northwestern Segovias, illustrates some of the challenges confronting rebel jefes, and the extraordinary precautions they took to protect their secret hideouts.  One also glimpses here the fuzzy line separating rebel soldiers from peaceful civilians, and the Sandinistas' parallel state apparatus with their "Jueces de Mesta" (local judges) punishing local inhabitants "for anything wrong they do."  An element of political backstabbing also seeps through these lines, evident especially in the penultimate paragraph.   A tangle of local political struggles clearly informed this report.  Who was its author, "Genarl Lopez h."?  Whoever he was, denounces Gregorio López twice and Servando & Cleto López once, along with Florian Peralta, the secretary of the alcalde.  A desire for political payback of some sort may well have inspired this "information" from a "reliable source."  (Detail of photo of Sandinista column in the Segovian mountains, n.d., from the Walter C. Sandino collection)

 

 

Area Commander, Northern Area:
 
From reliable source I got the following information:
 
The General Headquarters of Miguel Angel Ortez is in Quebrada Grande (the same creek of Cuje) and this camp is called El Gorrion. There is always a sentinel with field glasses watching over this camp from a cliff called El Barro. The resident commandant of this camp is Cleto Lopez [Anacleto Lopez] who is the one to get the food supplies and he too fines the people, thru the Jueces de Mesta, for anything wrong they do. There is a very steep place near this camp that serves the bandits as a hiding place when the planes are flying over. Right after any of their operations, they go to this place and then leave for their houses, with their equipment to live as honest citizens. Margarito Padilla is a man that can show where this place is. He is a retired bandit and has been sentenced, by the other bandits, to be killed. There are some men there that do what the bandits tell them to do. I know them and they can give some important information. This zone is northwest of Telpaneca, east of Totogalpa, and south of Mosonte. It is right in the middle of the jurisdiction of these 3 places.
 
Their second camp is in La Pita, jurisdiction of Mosonte, zone of Zazalo, in a creek in a lone place between cliffs and at the shade of a big mountain. They get their food products from Zazalo. Servando Lopez is their food supplier. He works together with Gregorio Lopez, liberal Jefe of that place and thought to be an honest man by the best people of this city. Once he was a prisoner here as he was denounced as giving food to Miguel Angel Ortez. La Pita is very near Zazalo, between the Achuapa River, San Miguel Mountain and Rio Grande, or better called the Rio Coco. They left this camp on the 30th of December to go and attack the Marines in the place called Portio Raspado on the 31st.
 
There are some houses in this zone that are subdue to the bandits. They wouldn't come to denounce them because they don't want to abandon their homes and their chickens; a home that is more like a rabbit nest. If these people would try, they could help to put an end to this banditry. I know who they are: Tiburcio Landero, now a prisoner (a request of Gregorio Lopez thru Florian Peralta, Secretary of the Alcalde of this city).
 
I think that he knows this place and is willing to work with the Marines as they have helped him ever since their arrival here.
 
/s/ Genaro Lopez H.

M31.01.28. RG127/209/8

Detail of digitized 1934 US Army map of Nicaragua

 

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