Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Nicaragua The establishment of independent Nicaragua came incrementally. The country first declared its sovereignty from the Spaniards in 1821, from the Mexicans in 1823 and from the United Provinces of Central America in 1840 - the year of Nicaragua's official independence.

The period following the Second World War has been relatively turbulent in Nicaragua, with the eruption of both inter-state and intra-state conflicts. An inter-state territorial conflict between Nicaragua and Honduras broke out in 1957. The disputed area, the Mosquito Coast, had been contested since a 1906 arbitral award gave the territory to Honduras. The violent conflict was triggered in 1957 when Nicaragua claimed that some of its territory had been included in Honduras' creation of a new administrative unit, Gracias a Dios, in the border region. The inter-state conflict ended when the OAS (Organisation of American States) pushed for a withdrawal of Nicaraguan troops from the disputed area in order to await a judgement on the border from the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ). In 1960, the ICJ upheld the original arbitral award. Nonetheless, the case has continued to be litigated into the 21st century.

Domestically, General Anastasio Somoza García and his family dominated Nicaraguan politics from 1937 to 1979. In response to the repressive Somoza regime, a leftist guerrilla movement emerged in the early 1960s that eventually evolved into three major groups, but reunited into the revolutionary coalition FSLN (Frente Sandanista de Liberación Nacional, Sandinista National Liberation Front) in the latter years of the struggle. The Sandinistas, as the FSLN members were called, overthrew the Somozo dictatorship in 1979 after an intra-state conflict which raged 1978-1979. After two years of Sandinista rule, several counter-revolutionary forces (collectively called the 'Contras', from the Spanish term contrarevolucionario) surfaced and began to violently challenge the new socialist regime. The Contras consisted of various groups, but mainly of FDN (Fuerza Democrática Nicaragüense, Nicaraguan Democratic Forces). One common denominator for the Contras were their benefactors, namely the USA and Honduras. With their support the Contras engaged the government in an intra-state conflict for eight years, 1981-1989. It was also primarily the end of the USA- military support in the late 1980s which led the Contras to sign a series of peace agreements in 1987-1989. By the end of 1990, virtually all of the Contras had demobilised.

Nicaragua has provided secondary warring support to the government of Iraq in 2004 in the intra-state conflict which began in Iraq that same year.

Since 1946 Nicaragua has experienced the inter-state and intra-state categories of UCDP organised violence.