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Eden Pastora: still the "bad boy"

Monday, October 21, 2013

If necessary, I will still be the “bad boy”, said the former Nicaraguan guerilla leader last week.

Pastora unilaterally ordered dredging operations on Calero Island, according to his own government, which denies responsibility for environmental damage to the area, located at the mouth of the San Juan River.

Each of Nicaragua and Costa Rica claims the island as its territory.

Pastora dredged new canals without Managua’s permission, said Nicaraguan spokesman Carlos Arguello earlier this month in remarks before the International Court of Justice, which is hearing the dispute between the two countries.

For its part, Costa Rica thinks that the bad-boy role at this point is nothing more than a diversion, given that the government of Daniel Ortega in 2010 named Pastora as Minister in charge of development of the San Juan River basin, following a reconciliation between the two men.

Still, Pastora has for decades played the bad-boy part.

As Commander Zero, Pastora during the Nicaraguan civil wars of the 1970s and 1980s first helped Ortega and the Sandinista front to bring down the right-wing Somoza dynasty, before switching sides and leading the so-called Contra movement against his former allies.

Pastora, who turns 77 next January, may be relishing playing his old part, for what may be the last time.