From Sat Mar 2 20:00:15 2002
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 14:04:00 -0600 (CST)
From: NicaNet <>
Subject: Nicaragua Network Hotline
Article: 134268
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

US Resumes Military Aid to Nicaragua

Nicaragua Network Hotline, 11 February 2002

For first time in 22 years, the United States government has assigned funds to the Nicaraguan military. U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Oliver Garza announced that the US government has authorized US$500,000 in aid to the Nicaraguan army, to give a boost to the fight against narco-trafficking and terrorism, and to equip specially-trained natural disaster personnel. According to Garza, there will be a similar disbursement in 2003.

Nicaraguan Defense Minister Jose Adan Guerra said, This is a milestone in relations between our two peoples and governments. It would also help out the national budget, he added. He spoke of the series of conversations and negotiations between authorities of the two countries, leading up to a new version of the [US military] humanitarian program, ‘New Horizons’, to be inaugurated by President Enrique Bolaqos on February 14th ('Day of Friendship,' in Nicaragua).

A treaty between the United States and Nicaragua to combat drug trafficking went into effect late in October 2001 and it marks the first U.S. support for Nicaragua's military since the 1970's. But even more alarming is the news that the U.S. is training Nicaraguan officers at the School of the Americas (now Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation-WHISC) during 2002. This was confirmed by the School's Public Affairs Officer, Lee A. Rials, in an answer to an e-mail inquiry from the Nicaragua Network.

The training of Nicaraguan officers at the School of the Americas has begun already. On October 22, 2002, one officer began a course in Resource Management and Logistics and ten others will follow him in 2002, taking courses in Civil-Military Operations, Democratic Sustainment, Resource Management and Logistics, Human Rights (sic), Counter Drugs, Engineer Operations and Command and a General Staff Course. This is the first time that Members of the Nicaraguan Army and Police will be trained at the School of the Assassins since nearly 4,700 members of the brutal National Guard of the 45 year long Somoza dictatorship were trained at the School in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

The Nicaragua Network, SOA Watch and Quest for Peace are sponsoring a petition to General Javier Carrion, head of the Nicaraguan Army, asking him to discontinue this training. To read and sign this petition, go to the Nicaragua Network web page at . Or, you can send your name, city, state and country in a reply message to this hotline.