Contra War in Nicaragua
The United States waged
war on Nicaragua throughout most of the
aim was to destabilize and eventually bring down the
revolutionary Sandinista government that had won control of the country
in 1979. The
so-called "low intensity" warfare targeted civilians and public
infrastructure--schools, medical clinics, and agricultural
cooperatives. Attacks were intended to frighten and terrorize
especially those who supported the Sandinistas.
The war inflicted
profound damage on the people and
economy of the country, and the impacts of the violence have been
lasting. Two decades later, the population is still recovering from the
physical and emotional
scars it left, and the damage to the economy. Many Nicaraguans
still struggle to overcome permanent injuries, and to fight for basic
subsistence with little hope that their children
will have adequate education, health care, or even basic
Surviving the Legacy of
by Paul Dix, edited by Pamela Fitzpatrick
220 pages, 100
photographs, bilingual English/Spanish
Dix and Pam Fitzpatrick are U.S.
citizens who saw and experienced
the war firsthand while visiting and living in Nicaragua
during the 1980s. They came home from Nicaragua with many
memories and hundreds of photographs that Paul had taken of victims of
contra violence. They also shared the conviction that those images and
the stories behind them needed to be more widely known.
A dozen years later, in
2002, Paul and Pam decided to return to
Nicaragua. Their hope was to find some of the
individuals who were the subjects of Paul’s photos from the 1980s. They
wanted to gather more photos and more detailed testimonies about these
people's personal experiences
during the Contra War and afterwards, to share with U.S. audiences.
It ended up taking four
seventeen months, but--amazingly--they eventually were
able to locate nearly all of the one hundred or so Nicaraguans they set
out to find. They taped interviews and took thousands of new
Between trips to Nicaragua, they spent thousands of hours painstakingly
translating the many hours of tapes.
For more about this
series of trips, and the effort to find
and photograph people and collect their testimonies, see About the
Authors and Letters from Nicaragua, and visit NicaraguaPhotoTestimony.org.
Their new book, NICARAGUA: Surviving
the Legacy of U.S. Policy,
offers a sampling of
the remarkable collection of photos
and testimonies that has resulted.
You Can Help the
You can help by making
sure that the book is widely disseminated!
If you'd like to make an additional contribution to support the authors
and their ongoing effort to ensure that all of the photographs and
testimonies they have collected are preserved as important historical
of the Contra War, contact them via the Contact page.
• • •
photographs and excerpts of interviews, this book
shares the personal stories, emotions and opinions of thirty ordinary
Nicaraguans whose lives were terribly interrupted and forever changed
by the violence that was perpetrated by the U.S. government and its
agents during the 1980s. It also gives telling details and insights
about the Contra War and life in Nicaragua.
The book is bilingual
English/Spanish. It is 9.5" x 12" landscape format, and printed on high
quality 157 gsm Chinese matte
art paper, sewn and limp bound, with a soft cover.
- Prologue by
Nicaraguan author and poet Gioconda Belli
- Foreword by
Richard Boren, an American who was held captive by contra fighters
- Author's preface
Overview of the Contra War,
and introduction to the photos and testimonies.
commentaries about thirty individual Nicaraguans and families affected
by the Contra War. Includes over 100 black and white photos, some from
the 1980s and others post-2002. Also five full color drawings by
Nicaraguan children, and excerpts
of 19 personal testimonies.
- Appendix: Full
color map, chronology of Nicaragua-U.S. history, and "In the
Name of U.S. 'National Security'" essay about the history of
U.S. intervention in
Nicaragua by Mark Lester of the Center for Global Education in
Sure the World
Does Not Forget
People of Nicaragua and the Horrors of War
The authors hope
that this book will help citizens of the U.S
world understand the reality of
life in Nicaragua today, and help all of us remember and learn from the
chapter of history that unfolded in Nicaragua in the 1980s. They also
hope it will help inform a new
chapter of U.S.-Nicaragua relations --one that is based on more just and
humane military, trade and aid policies, and that leads to a more
optimistic future for all Nicaraguans.
your copy of the book today!
- Make sure
local library, schools, churches, government officials, and favorite
peace and human rights
organizations get copies, too.
Thanks for your help with
this important work!
• • •
or comments about this page? Contact briley [at]
efn.org. Last update: May 11, 2011.