Horse Thieves to Rebels to Dogs: Political Gang Violence and the State in the Western Segovias, Nicaragua, in the Time of Sandino, 1926-1934
This study of organised political violence in north-central Nicaragua from 1926 to 1934 focuses on the infamous Conservative gang leader Anastacio Hernandez and on Sandino's rebels. The contexts of a weak central state and local-regional caudillismo are outlined. It is shown that after the 1926-27 civil war. Hernandez and others produced ritualised spectacular violence in the service of their Chamorrista caudillo patrons. The language, practices, and characteristics of organised violence are examined. It is argued that Sandino's rebels appropriated these tools of political struggle, and that changes and continuities in the organisation of violence in Nicaraguan history merit greater attention.