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From British colonialism to revolutionary developmentalism: The “re-birth” of autonomy in Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast

Luciano Baracco


This article discusses the emergence of demands for regional autonomy amongst the Miskitu inhabitants of Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast during the 1980s and concludes that the provenance of such demands should not be located in the historical precedents of the Kingdom of Mosquitia (1687–1860) and the Mosquito Reservation (1860–1894). Instead, its origins will be seen to lie in the impact of the developmentalist policies adopted by the Sandinista government that came to power in 1979 through a popular insurrection in Pacific Nicaragua. The article concludes that the contemporary autonomy process in Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast is an inherently modern phenomenon and remains inimitable to historical forms of localized government in the region.

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Print ISSN 1177-1801 Online ISSN 1174-1740