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Waters Goes to Nicaragua in Probe of Alleged Cocaine-Contra Links

January 03, 1997

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) said Thursday that she is traveling to Nicaragua today to continue her investigation of alleged links between the crack cocaine trade and the CIA-backed Contra rebels.

Waters said she was scheduled to arrive today in Nicaragua for a meeting with Enrique Miranda Jaime, a former associate of Norwin Meneses, a drug dealer and Contra rebel sympathizer.

Jaime is being held in jail on escape charges in Granada, about 25 miles southeast of the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, Waters said Thursday in a prepared statement.

Several federal investigations are underway into allegations that money from crack sales in South Los Angeles helped finance the Contras' war against Nicaragua's Sandinista government during the 1980s.

In reports last year, the San Jose Mercury newspaper alleged that the growth of the crack trade in South Los Angeles could be traced to Danilo Blandon--a Contra sympathizer--and Meneses, working through "Freeway" Ricky Ross. Ross was sentenced to life in prison in San Diego last month for drug dealing.

The allegations sparked widespread anger in African American communities.

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