Anti-government demonstrators remain at an improvised barricade in the town of Masaya, 35 km from Managua on June 5, 2018. / AFP / Inti OCON
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From little boys with skinny arms to old women with creased faces, it seems everyone in Masaya, Nicaragua is ready to go to war.Built with tree trunks, cobblestones, scrap metal and whatever else is at hand, the barricades depend on an improvised logistical network that seems to involve almost every one of the city's 100,000 inhabitants.Ramona Garcia, 83, remembers working on the supply chains for barricades just like these in the 1970s, when Ortega was a guerrilla leader and Masaya was on his side, fighting against the brutal regime of dictator Anastasio Somoza.The city of Masaya played a crucial role in Ortega's leftist rebellion, giving the Sandinistas refuge when they staged a tactical retreat from Managua on June 27, 1979 – today, a national holiday.After regrouping in Masaya and enlisting many in the city in their cause, the Sandinistas overthrew Somoza less than a month later.The city has paid a heavy price.Snipers posted at its besieged police stations regularly pick people off, while mobs led by riot police attack the barricades and pillage the city almost every night, residents say.
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