"I am done with great things and big things--great institutions and big success--and I am for those tiny, invisible moral forces that
work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of
water, yet if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man's pride." — William James
The Land Of The Free (press) - Part I
A personal commentary on the Los Angeles Times
Copyright © 1987 by Bill Becker
(with thanks to Bonnie)
Note: See REFERENCES below for sources (indicated "(*n*)" in text)
Those who are following the Iran/Contra hearings have by now heard mention of American journalists Tony Avirgan and his wife Martha Honey, and of the Christic Institute, a public interest law and public policy center based in Washington, D.C. While the general public knows very little about Avirgan and Honey, who live in Costa Rica, or about their relation to the Christic Institute, some of the witnesses who have testified before Senator Inouye's Congressional investigating committee know very well who they are, and refer to them with distinct unease.
In fact, Avirgan, Honey, and Christic hold the key to a large part of the Iran/Contra scandal, as well as clues to a larger scandal of frightening proportions. There is real drama in this story, and no little danger to Avirgan and Honey themselves. What follows is an attempt to shed some light on why we do not know more about their situation, or about the important role they are playing in exposing a serious attack on our Constitution.
The case of Avirgan and Honey is only one example of the general lack of information we are getting on Central America, considered from a point-of-view more comprehensive than is encompassed by merely sniffing the prevailing winds as to what constitutes "news" today, jumping on fast-breaking stories like the Hasenfus debacle, or dutifully showing up at every Washington press conference.
As U.S. citizens who, to hear it often said, enjoy a "free press," we should be especially concerned about whether our press is living up to the ideals which we invoke with pride (and often no little arrogance) in comparisons with the print media of other nations. Thus, toward the end of making a small contribution to a fuller understanding of big-time journalism in our own neighborhood, I will discuss the newspaper that is "there for us every day," the Los Angeles Times.
Regular reading of the Times, and my experiences in several conversations with Times staffers about the paper's coverage of Central America, has led me to conclude that this mainstream media giant suffers a serious malaise. There is a hint of schizophrenia about the paper, undoubtedly some self-deception, certainly a fair degree of jadedness, and even some evidence that conning the reader is not frowned upon.
First, some background:
In May, 1984, Sandinista-turned-contra leader Eden Pastora, the famous "Commandante Zero," called a press conference at "La Penca," his jungle camp in southern Nicaragua. His intention was to denounce heavy-handed attempts by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to force him and his Costa Rica-based contras to merge with the larger and better equipped FDN, the "contras of choice" based in Honduras. Pastora had consistently refused to join, or even to coordinate with the FDN, reasoning that they were led by ex-Somoza guardsmen who were, again, simply indulging a habit of terrorizing the Nicaraguan people for the benefit of a foreign power.
The press conference convened in a shack filled to overflowing with journalists and Pastora's followers. Tony Avirgan was there, covering the event for ABC. No sooner had the conference begun than a powerful explosion, later found to have originated in a large camera case packed with C-4 explosive, ripped through the crowd and blew the structure apart. The main target of the bomb, Pastora, survived with severe injury--8 others were killed, including American journalist Linda Frazier. Avirgan himself was seriously injured, and spent months recovering and undergoing plastic surgery.
Avirgan and Honey then undertook an investigation, with financial help from the U.S. Newspaper Guild, into the origins of the assassination attempt. Their investigation uncovered the possible role of American John Hull, who had, apparently, made his ranch in northern Costa Rica available for illegal weapons drops to the contras. The journalists also uncovered evidence that the ranch was a loading point for cocaine bound for the U.S. on the return trip. As they proceeded with their investigation, and after a young contra informant had been captured and tortured to death by his former companions (on Hull's ranch, according to Avirgan and Honey), the two journalists and their children also became subject to daily death threats. Thus was a new dimension added to the personal attacks which they had suffered in the right-wing Costa Rican press, almost from the moment the assassination attempt was reported.
Finally, Avirgan and Honey appealed to the Christic Institute for help. By coincidence, Christic had undertaken a parallel, independent, investigation originating out of leads developed through its role in defending sanctuary workers against prosecution by the INS. Christic's investigation filled in many of the gaps in the journalists' inquiry, augmenting their information about contra military supplies and drug-running with information about the source of those supplies--the U.S. government, in violation of the Boland amendment prohibiting military aid to the contras. Avirgan and Honey then published a report, in Costa Rica, on Hull's activities there. Hull promptly sued them for libel, which, in Costa Rica, is a felony criminal charge carrying a presumption of guilt. Christic defended the journalists, and won.
The stage was now set for a different kind of legal proceeding. The leads on drug running, and Avirgan's injuries and loss of equipment in the assassination attempt made it possible to bring a civil suit, under the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations statute (RICO), against all of the principals for whom there was evidence of involvement. RICO was enacted in 1970 to allow a private individual to recoup damages suffered at the hands of a criminal enterprise. To allow for discovery that the enterprise is both criminal and long-standing, the plaintiffs are granted wide ranging powers of investigation, including federal supeona power.
In May, 1986, representing Avirgan and Honey, the Christic Institute filed suit under RICO against 29 persons, including Iran/Contra witnesses Majors General Richard Secord and John K. Singlaub, contra leader Adolfo Calero, and "courier" Robert Owen. On January 30, nine motions by defendants to dismiss the suit were rejected by U.S. District Judge James L. King, who ruled that the evidence presented so far justified continuing the trial. The plaintiffs are now in the process of taking depositions which indicate an ongoing criminal enterprise dating back to 1959, and ranging from southeast Asia, to the Middle East, and to Central and South America.
Prefacing one of its several articles on the Avirgan/Honey suit, the editor of the Bay Guardian wrote "the potential implications ... are staggering." They are staggering, and now we turn to the lack of interest shown in this case by the Los Angeles Times.
On the morning of May 14th, in a telephone conversation with a friend who is also a professional journalist, I learned of an attempt to frame Avirgan and Honey on a criminal rap in Costa Rica two days earlier. The "Switzerland of Central America," it turns out, has less in common with its European namesake than meets the eye.
The mechanism was a clumsy "mail-order" drug plant, which appeared to have been set up by Costa Rican narcotics agents. (See APPENDIX) The journalists had received a call that a package was waiting for them at the post office. When their secretary claimed it, she was immediately surrounded by Costa Rican police, and taken to a local judge, in whose presence the package was opened. The package was filled with cocaine, accompanied by a note signed "Tomas," from "Managua, Nicaragua." Tomas Borge is one of the nine Sandinista commandantes, and the only surviving founder of the Sandinista revolutionary party. The note also used cryptic terms and initials, believed to be an attempt to implicate a Christic investigator in the drug scam, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, and others. (See attached copy of the letter found with the package, p.13.) Later, six Costa Rican narcotics officers went to the couple's house, to "search" for more cocaine. None was found, and no charges were brought.
After hearing this account, I called the Times, to ask that they cover the story. I was given to a writer/editor at the foreign desk (they would not give me his title when I called back later) with extensive experience in Latin America. He listened patiently to my somewhat ardent suggestions that this was "news;" that with Costa Rican president Arias out of the country, Avirgan and Honey were very vulnerable; that they had received death threats as a result of their reports about John Hull; that we were not hearing enough about their work down there.
With only an interruption or two to correct my pronunciation ("Arias" is stressed on the first syllable), my handler heard me out. Then, in a fatherly voice containing just a trace of a chuckle, he said "You know that most of the journalists down there think that Avirgan and Honey are working for the Sandinistas, don't you?"
My immediate, (and, as I realized later, irrelevant,) response was to mention the vindication of the journalists by both the Costa Rican and U.S. judicial systems. Then I asked him whether the alleged opinions of the "journalists down there" meant that Avirgan and Honey did not deserve attention, or that their reporting should be ignored. "No," he said, "I just thought you ought to know that." He did promise to call Times reporter Richard Boudreaux in Managua, however.
(This offhand remark, made to a reader concerned for the safety of American journalists, by another professional journalist at one of the nation's most influential newspapers, is in stark contrast to the front-page editorial of the May 23 issue of the Nation, which had already printed articles by Avirgan and Honey about their investigation.
After describing the smear attempt, the Nation editorial credits them with being among the first to "find the facts and make the connections in what is now called the Iran/contra scandal." It closes with a touch of irony: "If the press cares as much about a government's betrayal of the public as it does about a man's infidelity to his wife, it should protect these pioneers when they need it most.")
Not surprisingly, not a word about the incident ever appeared in the Times, even though AP carried it, and it was reported by National Public Radio on the same day I called.
Even though I should have hung up, I continued the dialogue. I mentioned the commonly held opinion that President Reagan was the primary obstacle to a successful Contadora-arranged regional peace plan.
(Contadora is the name of a coalition of four Latin American nations (Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela) which have been trying to arrange an indigenous solution to the "Nicaraguan problem" since January, 1983. In 1986, Contadora was joined by the "Lima Four" (Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay), Joao Clemente Baena Soares, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, and U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar. This peace-seeking group represents 90% of Latin America's population. (*1*) The Nicaraguan government wants a peace accord desperately, and has indicated its willingness to satisfy all legitimate concerns of its neighbors.)
"Not necessarily so," says the writer/editor. He had just recently attended a function at which a Guatemalan general said that Contadora would never work unless the Nicaraguans reduced the size of their army. Here was "balance;" an implication that the Sandinistas were, in fact, responsible for the stalled Contadora effort. And, the charge was made by a source independent of Washington.
It is true, of course, that the Guatemalan military cannot easily be accused of the toadyism of which the Salvadoran and Honduran governments are suspected. After all, when Congress imposed a suspension of military aid to Guatemala in retaliation for the worst human rights abuses in the hemisphere, the generals refused to knuckle under, deciding instead to get their weapons elsewhere rather than stop abusing the Guatemalan people. My interlocutor clearly saw such "standing tall" by the Guatemalan military as an appropriate counter to my uncharitable opinion of the President's influence. (Nonetheless, I remain unpersuaded.)
The Contadora issue is a good example of the "schizophrenia" referred to above. The editorial writers at the Times have consistently, and strongly, opposed the President's Nicaragua policy (in which mostly non-combatants are killed). They recognize the inherent danger of a region-wide conflict resulting from this policy, and there have even been comments about the basic inhmanity of the President's project. Several editorials have stated that Contadora is the only real hope for peace in Central America, and that it is time for Washington to abandon its insistence on always running the show in Latin America. At least one editorial accused the President outright of sabotaging Contadora. In 1986 the editorial section was honored by a coalition of peace groups for its stand.
On the news side, however, we have a decided lack of reporting in support of the editorial section. Foreign desk editors seem to be satisfied mostly with reporting only that Contadora has met, or that it is going to meet, or that various "independent sources" generally agree that Contadora is a failure.
Last year, I called the foreign desk on this issue also, asking why the Times was not giving us more in-depth coverage of this important effort by Latin heads of state to achieve a peace accord by diplomacy. I suggested that it would be fruitful to interview the Contadora/Lima presidents, and ask them why they felt that such an accord, arranged and implemented by Latin Americans, would work; especially when the Reagan administration asserted that the Sandinistas were a grave threat to the whole hemisphere. Their chutzpah alone is newsworthy. The staffer I spoke to acknowledged that they had not done this kind of reporting, and that perhaps they should. We have yet to read anything like it in the Times.
Along with this unimaginative approach to an historic effort, by Latin American diplomats, to negotiate unity and peace in Central America, there is also a simple ignoring of hard news on the subject. On May 10, the Daily News ran a 58.5 inch Knight-Ridder article (2"-wide columns) with a 2-line, very bold caption: "Documents Show U.S. tried to disrupt Contadora effort." Among other items, the article described a plan to drop support for Mexican president (and Contadora statesman) Miguel de la Madrid, and support his rival in Mexico's national elections, and a similar effort to support the right-wing Sandinista-basher Rafael Angel Calderon for the Costa Rican presidency. (Calderon lost to Oscar Arias Sanchez, who has succeeded, much to Washington's annoyance, in reducing the contra presence in Costa Rica.) Not a word of this appeared in the Times.
Apparently, only some 10-20% of any paper's readers read the editorials. Without news backup to create a credible background for an editorial, it is not likely to be taken seriously, except by those who already hold the same opinion. In the present instance, the general impression of "Contadora as failure" is not overcome by a few valiant, but lonely editorials.
All of this indicates that the news side of the Times has an actual, operating bias in favor of President Reagan. Not so much in the form of overt support for his policy (which would be an embarrassment to the "liberal" Times), but rather toward preserving the aura of moral authority by which the President both chooses and promotes his policy.
Another way of protecting the president's moral authority is to ignore those of equal, or greater, moral authority who oppose his policies. The president and his supporters invoke national security as the justification of his policy, and our "patriotic duty" to support him. These invocations are dutifully reported in the Times. But, we do not read in the Times about those who have actually experienced battle (President Reagan made propaganda movies in Hollywood during WWII), and who feel that "national security," as used here, is a false and hypocritical justification.
Former Air Force pilot and now medical doctor Charles Clements; former priest, military chaplain, and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Charles Liteky; former Marine and chief of the CIA's covert Angola task force John Stockwell; and former Marine and CIA analyst David Mac Michael are good examples of such veterans. All served in Vietnam, and they are all working full-time against the president's policy in Central America. (It is not unreasonable to say that the true strength of the U.S. lies in patriots such as these, who enter military service with enthusiasm, and later show real moral, physical, and intellectual courage in speaking out against what they consider a betrayal of the nation's moral foundations--even when they feel the betrayer is their commander-in-chief.)
When Dr. Clements, after 50 missions in Vietnam, realized that Americans were dying more to satisfy the egos of politicians than to protect our security, he asked to be transferred back to a non-combat job stateside. Instead, the Air Force put him in a psychiatric ward for nine months. After an honorable discharge, he became a Quaker and M.D., and began an internship in Salinas, treating farm workers.
He noticed that many of his patients were Salvadoran refugees with fresh war wounds, and after hearing their stories, he decided that he had to see for himself. After negotiating with the Salvadoran resistance (FMLN), he loaded up a backpack with medical supplies, and hiked into El Salvador's guerrilla-controlled territory from Honduras. For nearly a year, he provided medical treatment to the population in the Guazapa area. He documented his experience in his book "Witness to War," which was made into an Acadamy Award-winning documentary. He is now the Director for Human Rights of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
Former military chaplain Liteky won his Congressional Medal of Honor for wading into a fire fight and saving the lives of 20 Vietnamese soldiers. After returning home, he left the priesthood, and married Judy--a social activist. She took him to meetings of Salvadoran refugees, and, after hearing their stories, Liteky too was moved to take direct action on their behalf. In September and October, 1986, Liteky and three other veterans carried out a 48 day water-only fast on the Capitol steps, in hopes of moving the American people to action against the President's policy. "No more killing in our name," they said.
After positive responses to their statement around the nation, the four ended their fast and organized the Veterans Peace Action Team program, in which other veterans who oppose the president's policy are trained in the methods of non-violent witness. They are then sent to the war zones of Nicaragua, to be a protective buffer between the Nicaraguan people and President Reagan's "freedom fighters."
Former CIA case officer John Stockwell has a somewhat different message--about the intentional lying which is used by our government to generate support for its violent programs. Stockwell was deeply disillusioned by Vietnam ("My soul had been fucked," he says), and was seriously considering leaving the "company" when they offered him the chance to head a covert operation in Angola. (Stockwell had grown up in Africa, and was sent there earlier as a new CIA case officer. Even then he began to have doubts about U.S. foreign policy goals.) "I made a deal with the devil," he says, and he accepted the job. He would finally get to see how the CIA worked from the inside, and would know for sure whether, as he had been told, "the graybeards back in Washington have the big picture."
Stockwell wrote a book ("In Search of Enemies") about his tour of duty as head of the Angola task force, and talks about the similarities between the propaganda created to justify the Angola operation, and what we are hearing now about Nicaragua. He describes how the tales of Cuban soldiers raping Angolan women, and later being captured, tried, and executed for their crimes were made up in total by his own propagandists. These stories were fed to the press, and faithfully passed on to the public. In reality, says Stockwell, "the conduct of the Cubans viv-a-vis the Angolans was exemplary." "Never once was the truth told about Angola, even when it would not have hurt to tell the truth," he says.
Stockwell comments on the ironic denoument of l'affaire Angola after Congress shut down the covert operation. The communist revolutionary government immediately called back the American oil companies to get the oil fields working again. The derricks began pumping the oil out, with Cuban soldiers protecting them from the (former) CIA mercenaries "who were still messing around in the country." The situation remains the same today, except that South Africa has assumed the role of the CIA (by pre-arrangement).
David MacMichael was hired by the CIA to "prove" the existence of the "flow of arms" allegedly streaming from the Sandinistas in Nicaragua to the FMLN guerrilla fighters in El Salvador. When he found, instead, that there was no evidence at all of such an arms flow, he was fired.
Nicaraguan businessman and Sandinista opponent Edgar Chamorro deserves mention here also. Chamorro was recruited in late 1982 by the CIA to be one of several members of a civilian contra directorate. It had become necessary to provide an umbrella of respectability for the contras in the field, who had garnered to themselves a reputation for extreme viciousness and brutality against Nicaraguan soldiers and non-combatants alike. Later, Chamorro learned that reports of horrible atrocities committed by the rebels under his auspices were indeed true, and he protested. His protest cost him his job, and he, too, now speaks out vigorously against the President's policy. He is skeptical about the "democratic" aspirations of his former collegues on the contra directorate, noting that they "talked mostly about recovering their lost wealth and privileged status." (*2*)
Last October, after spending a few days in Washington with the veterans who were fasting, I returned to Los Angeles inspired to help them, and the other former military men get their message to the public. Up to then, the only Times coverage I had seen of any of them was an article in the View section about Dr. Clements (An Airman Who Turned Into a Good Samaritan, Aug. 21, 1984). Also, the shooting of the contra-supply plane on October 5th, with American mercenary Eugene Hasenfus on board, had lent new urgency to the effort to stop the President.
Accordingly, I called the Times, and spoke to a staffer at the national desk. I suggested that the Times do a story on these men. The staffer immediately went into the "handler" mode. The problem, he said, was that these opponents of the president's policy were not acting in concert, as a coordinated unit. "If one of them gives a talk here, and another gives a talk there," he said, "the Times really can't do a good job of covering them." I demurred.
I said that he and I both knew that the Times could make these men news, by assigning reporters to interview each of them, and then either do a single large story on them, or perhaps a series. I reminded him that the paper has often done exactly that when a subject interests the editors. "You're right," said the staffer, somewhat sheepishly, "we could do that." "Why don't you?" I asked. "I don't know." he said.
We still have not heard about these men, and their message, in the Times. Stockwell's name has appeared in the Times exactly once (so far as my careful reading has determined), and then in a "safe" mode (as the author of an opinion piece calling on Lt. Col. Oliver North to 'fess up on the Iran/Contra affair). There has never been mention of him vis-a-vis his opposition to the President's Central America policy, or his story on Angola. This is understandable, though unfortunate. He exposes a campaign of lies, to foment hatred of the Cubans, worthy of George Orwell. For the Times to print it now would raise questions as to its own competence as a newspaper. Besides, the fine journalistic art of Cuba-bashing is still in favor. (Nor have we seen any analysis of why it is necessary to kill people in communist Angola, but it is ok to send aid to communist Mozambique.)
Nothing worthwhile has appeared about the veterans' efforts either. The only mention of their fast on the Capitol steps was a short article which appeared only after an article criticizing the media's lack of attention to their statement appeared on the Times' op-ed pages ("Veterans Fast Against War, America Shrugs", Lawrence Weschler, October 10, 1986). A few months ago, immediately after the first team of veterans went to Nicaragua, where they would be driving the roads mined by the contras to help bring supplies to outlying villages, I called the foreign desk again to ask for coverage of their activities there. The response was non-committal. Nothing on the vets has yet appeared.
As far as I can tell, Edgar Chamorro's name has never appeared in the Times.
Even though the conversations I have described above actually took place, I recognize a risk in making them public.
First: Nobody likes a "snitch." The journalists who spoke to me showed a certain innocent trust, and there is an air of betrayal in what I have written about them. I am sure that no one at the Times will ever talk to me again (unless I put on a Groucho Marx disguise when I call.)
Second: Even if it is granted that I am being truthful here, these attitudes on the part of the various Times staffers to whom I spoke are endemic in the population as a whole. Therefore it might easily be seen as churlish for me to have singled out a "great" paper like the Times for suffering the same human foibles as the rest of us.
Nevertheless, what is important to me are the many thousand Nicaraguans who have died in the President's vicious war against the Sandinistas, and the possibility that he might still satisfy his need to "stand tall" by presenting us with an early morning headline about the invasion of Nicaragua. A jaded, indifferent approach to these issues at the Times serves the administration's purposes very well. The comment about Avirgan and Honey, and the invocation of the Guatemalan general as a credible moral force would certainly have earned the speaker a warm bear hug from the President. (We should remember here that President Reagan also employed his considerable "handling" skills as a journalist years ago.)
War creates casualties, as the villagers of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala are reminded every day. There is no reason why journalists who work in the safe environment of the Times (the building itself looks like a fortress) should not, occasionally, be called to account for "those tiny, invisible moral forces" which they may inadvertently reveal, and which, as in this case, play an important role in obscuring the real issues as regards Central America. The Times should be judged favorably not simply because it is no worse than other papers, but only when it is using its resources and moral force to the fullest degree. Truth has many facets, and my calls to the Times were to ask them to print more of the truth, not to ask them to print only "my" side.
In the conversation about Avirgan and Honey, I let slip a comment to the effect that we activists don't like our tax money used to pay for killing Nicaraguan women and children. My strong language annoyed the man at the desk. "Hold on there," he said, "you began by talking about Tony Avirgan and Martha Honey. Let's get back to them." We did, but what was the point?
Woodland Hills, CA
June 8, 1987
*1* Editorial, Talking but Not Listening, L.A. Times, 12-26-86.
*2* Letter, New York Times, 1/9/1986.
San Francisco Bay Guardian articles:
1. The Costa Rica Connection, Michael Emery, Dec. 3, 1986
2. Follow That Story "Contragate coverup in San Jose", Michael Emery, Feb. 4, 1987.
3. The Mystery Guest at the White House, Michael Emery, Martha Honey, Tony Avirgan, April 1, 1987
4. Behind the La Penca Bombing, Martha Honey, May 27, 1987
5. Harassment of U.S. journalists continues unabated in Costa Rica, Michael Emery, May 27, 1987
Talks by John Stockwell:
1. Studio City, October, 1984
2. Pomona College, April 1986.
Interview of John Stockwell, L.A. Weekly, ??, 1986
Talk by Christic Institute general counsel and director for Public Policy Daniel Sheehan, Beverly Hills, Feb. 1987
The following material is a reproduction, for purposes of clarity, of a scanned image of a photocopy of the letter found in the package of cocaine allegedly mailed to Tony Avirgan and
Martha Honey in Costa Rica, and explanatory text. It is identical to the photocopy in content; but not necessarily in word, letter, and end-of-line positioning. The only difference is in the explanatory
text. In the original photocopy, the parenthesized terms are preceded by a degree sign and followed by an apostrophe, as follows: (o J.K.’). These terms are reproduced here as (“J.K.”).
The page number is mine. The photocopy was given to me by the source referred to in the text above, who received a copy of the original from Avirgan and Honey, most likely by FAX.
I assume that the explanation following the letter itself was written by Avirgan and Honey.
Managua, April 27, 1987
Thanks very much for your phone call, we are very thankful for all
of your work in Costa Rica which is definitely producing good
results. The Commandantes were very happy with your mission and
want me to tell you that.
The boss is interested in talking to you personally. I want to pass
you some instructions that are very important.
In accordance with our phone conversation, your trip to Managua
has been planned for the end of May. He wants you to move it up
as soon as possible since your presence here is urgent.
The shipment you made in February got to Miami alright and the
Institute already has advised us and soon we will pick up the
money. What we don't understand is that what we discussed was a
shipment of 500 kilos of top quality. Nonetheless, the Reverend told
us that there were only 400 kilos of quality not like the sample we
received from Bolivia. We are waiting for your arrival in our
country to clear this up.
I am sending you a sample of what we got from Columbia. The
quality doesn't seem real good to me, nonetheless you can decide if
we should go into business with them. It appears there are two
tons ready at a magnificent price. We will fix the transportation to
Costa Rica and to here. Depending on what you decide, let me
We are waiting for you to send us what your good friend J.K. left
for us with you in Costa Rica. Humberto spoke with him by phone
and everything is going just as planned here with Daniel.
If you can't send J.K.'s gift, bring it when you come. I think that's
all for today brothers. A big hug to our friend Pavlov and to Lic.
See you soon,
We believe the references in this letter are meant to implicate the
following in drug smuggling: The Christic Institute ("The Institute”)
Father William Davis of the Christic Institute ("The Reverend"),
Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts ("J.K.") , Humberto Ortega,
Nicaraguan Minister of Defense, and his brother Daniel Ortega,
President of Nicaragua, the Soviet Ambassador to Costa Rica Yuri
Pavlov ("Pavlov"), and Avirgan and Honey’s Costa Rican attorney,
Oto Castro ("Lic. Castro").