National Geographic : 1985 Dec
lands, organize neighborhoods, bring peo ple into the mainstream-unaware that here were folk accustomed to farming where they liked and fishing when they chose. Administrators and soldiers arrived igno rant of local languages. Miskito leaders made demands; Sandinistas suspected dis loyalty. Security police killed four Miskitos at church. Evidence points to a massacre of men, number uncertain, in another village. A fisherman told me he was beaten in jail by "the Spaniards," as those from the Pacific side are called. ("They think we're conquis tadores," a soldier said.) Leaders were arrested. Miskitos say about 80 persons who were detained be tween 1981 and 1983 have vanished, with some known to have been killed. Some say needless killing continues-just as Sandi nistas say that the killing of government workers by guerrillas continues. Two Indi an groups, Misura and Misurasata, are the backbone of the resistance on the Caribbean side, although a Misurasata leader tried this year to negotiate a treaty with the government. Some Miskitos say the Sandinista regime has improved. I found locals, not "Span iards," staffing some government offices. And the government now speaks of allowing measured autonomy, with the election of local leaders and participation in de velopment decisions. But the Miskitos I met want more.