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Eden Pastora
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Military Personnel
    (January 22, 1937-June 13, 2020)
    Born in Ciudad Dario, Nicaragua
    Led the Southern Front militia in the revolt against the government of Anastasio Somoza
    After the overthrow of Somoza (1979), named Deputy Interior Minister and Vice Minister of Defense
    Broke with the Sandinista government (1981) and formed the Contra group the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance (ARDE)
    Deposed as ARDE leader (1986)
    Reconciled with the government of Daniel Ortega (2007)
    Known as Comandante Cero (Commander Zero)
    Although he claimed to have broken with the Sandinistas over their turn toward Marxism, many political observers suspected he was disappointed at being excluded from the nine-man Directorate that ran the country.
    His ARDE cooperated with drug cartels to smuggle cocaine to the US.
    He ran for president of Nicaragua and received less than 1% of the vote (2006).
    He created an international incident when he led a band of soldiers in occupying Caleros Island (claimed by both Nicaragua and Costa Rica) and dredging the San Juan River (2010).
    Costa Rica issued a warrant for his arrest for the environment damage caused by the dredging.
    He was married and divorced three times.
    When he was seven, his father was killed by the Chief of Staff of Somoza’s National Guard.
    He led a successful attack on the National Palace in Managua, in which a band of 23 men took over 1,000 hostages, half of them legislators and government officials, including Somoza’s half-brother, nephew, and cousin (August 22, 1978).
    The government agreed to release 59 political prisoners, pay a $500,000 ransom, and allow the guerillas, including Pastora, to go into exile in Panama.
    He was wounded in an apparent assassination attempt when a bomb was set off at a press conference he was holding. Three journalists and four ARDE members were killed. (May 30, 1984).

Credit: C. Fishel

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