Since April, Nicaragua has been witnessing its most dramatic crisis since the end of the Sandinista guerilla wars of the 1980s. What began as demonstrations against social security reforms led to a brutal crackdown. Tensions have mounted between Sandinistas and opponents of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who denounce him as an authoritarian leader who has amassed power for his own family, and gave the order to open fire on protesters.
Now Nicaraguan authorities have mounted a big clean-up operation, the barricades have been dismantled, and the country has entered a witch-hunt phase; thousands of opposition activists have gone into hiding. Among them are many former Sandinistas who believe that Ortega has betrayed the revolution they once fought for and turned the country into what he helped to overturn in 1979: a dictatorship.