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Sandino, Augusto César (1895–1934)

Robert Sierakowski


Augusto César Sandino led the guerilla struggle against the US occupation of Nicaragua between 1927 and 1933. He was born in 1895, the illegitimate son of a local landowner and a peasant woman, in Niquinohomo, in the department of Masaya. From a young age, the contrast between his father's wealth and the condition of his mother and the rest of the population struck him as unjust. The Nicaragua in which Sandino grew up was a country under occupation; from 1912, the US Marine Corps ran Nicaragua as a virtual protectorate. In his youth, Sandino traveled in order to find work in the export plantations of Honduras and Guatemala, later arriving in Mexico to work as a mechanic at an oil company. The Mexico Sandino experienced during the 1920s was the direct outcome of the Revolution (1910–21), and the importance of labor unions, peasant organizations, and political debate left a lasting impact on him. When a coup by a conservative general led to a liberal rebellion in 1926, the United States returned its recently withdrawn Marines to stifle the uprising. Sandino rushed back to Nicaragua, presumably to participate in the rebellion, and found work in a gold mine in the northern Segovias region, from where he would organize an army to fight the conservatives. Yet Sandino's participation in the so-called Constitutionalist War was brief. In May 1927, liberal General José María Moncada (1868–1945) ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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