By Lynn Horton
Peasants in Arms information the function of neighborhood elites in organizing the 1st anti-Sandinista rebellion in 1980 and their next upward push to positions of box command within the contras. Lynn Horton explores the inner elements that led a majority of peasants to show opposed to the revolution and the ways that the army draft, and kin and neighborhood pressures bolstered clash and undermined mid-decade FSLN coverage shifts that tried to win again peasant support.
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Additional resources for Peasants In Arms: War & Peace in the Mountains of Nicaragua, 1979-1994 (Ohio RIS Latin America Series)
Poor peasants were attracted to certain aspects of the revolutionary programs, particularly land reform, and a substantial number of them supported the FSLN. Other poor peasants, however, became resentful when in their minds the Sandinista government failed to live up their expectations for land and other beneﬁts or were drawn into the counterrevolutionary struggle by continued economic and ideological dependence on local elites. In addition to these underlying ideological tensions, a series of what I term secondary or reinforcing factors served both to push antiSandinista young men into active armed opposition to the revolution and to reinforce the dynamics of military conﬂict in the municipality.
The equipment costs as well as all the risks of venturing into the forest to seek out rubber trees were assumed by the collectors. He remembers: My father would tell me how he entered the mountain forests prepared with provisions, a hunting riﬂe, tools. He received no cash advance to purchase these things. It all came out of his own pocket. . He would climb the tree making cuts with his machete. . Two weeks after cutting the tree he would gather the sap . . [and] put it on his back and carry it to the collection station on the Río Coco, where it would be taken to the port of Gracias a Dios.
While the exact origins and nature of the Indians who inhabited Quilalí are still under investigation (Werner , ), it is clear that the impact of the arrival of the Spanish was devastating. Some indigenous people were forced to work as slaves extracting gold for the Spanish crown, while others ﬂed deeper into the mountains to escape the brutal conditions in Spanish mines. Overall, it is probable that disease, warfare, the slave trade, and forced labor reduced the Segovias’ sedentary indigenous population by percent or more (Schroeder , ).