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10 Bodies Reported Found in Unmarked Grave Near Nicaragua Army Base

June 16, 1990|From Associated Press

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — The remains of about 10 people, including a child, were found in an unmarked grave near a military base in remote northern Nicaragua, officials confirmed Friday.

In a televised news report, two women said they recognized clothing worn by their sons when they disappeared seven years ago. The women said that their sons, 17 and 18, were captured by Sandinista soldiers seven years ago.

There was no indication of the identities of the remaining bodies.

The grave is on Mocoron Mountain, 200 yards from an army base north of Wiwili and near Nicaragua's border with Honduras. Wiwili is 175 miles north of Managua.

Marta Patricia Baltodano, executive director of the Nicaraguan Pro-Human Rights Assn., said several peasants and Wiwili town council members informed the association's offices on June 4 of the grave's location.

Human rights workers were taken to the site three days later, she said.

She said that perhaps because of Hurricane Joan, which lashed Nicaragua in October, 1988, "there was a shifting of soil that allowed these bodies to come up to the top."

In the television report, the mother of Danilo Sobalvarro Zeledon, 18, said she recognized the trousers her son wore when he was picked up by soldiers.

"I'm satisfied (he was found) because I had been looking for him in various prisons throughout Nicaragua," she said. "The last thing I knew was that he was with the Contras. . . . Now I don't have to keep looking. I entrust him to the Lord."

The mother of Domingo Flores Palacios, 17, shown at the grave site standing next to a pile of skulls and bones, said: "My son was wearing these red pants and a red plaid shirt" when he was taken by the army.

Neither woman was identified. They said their sons were captured by the Sandinista People's Army on Oct. 22, 1983, in San Jose Bocay, a small town in northern Nicaragua.

Pants, shirts, underwear and nylon ropes were found at the site. It is believed the ropes might have been used to tie the victims' hands.

Human rights official Violeta Guevara said the bones of a 7-year-old boy were found among the remains.

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