As the forces of President Anastasio Somoza continue to pond the slum districts of the Nicaraguan capital - Managua - looting has become a way of life for thousands of people.
SV: vultures on the ground and hovering (2 shots)
Background: As the forces of President Anastasio Somoza continue to pond the slum districts of the Nicaraguan capital - Managua - looting has become a way of life for thousands of people. The disruption of the past weeks of war - as the Government tries to dislodge Sadinist guerrillas -- mens that very few shops are open and those that are have little to sell.
SYNOPSIS: This is a sugar warehouse in Managua suburb. Sugar - along with the other most basic commodities - is hard to get. As the fighting spreads through the city it is almost impossible to control the looting. Bombing raids and fighting on the ground has left buildings devastated or abandoned. With no-one around to guard the food and other supplies, the buildings are ransacked. The National Guard often do nothing to stop the looting. Indeed - many of President Somoza's soldiers join in. Outside Managua the Sandinist forces are strengthening their hold on the country. The city of Leon -- second largest in the country -- is firmly under their control. In the south the guerrillas are building up their forces for a push on the town of Rivas.
But for people in Managua life is a daily struggle. The city is devastated. There is no commerce. Electricity supplies are cut off. In the whole city thee is only one petrol station supplying civilians.
The National Guard has the pick of whatever is going. If a soldier believes a looter has stolen too much, he simply takes some of it for himself. And it's not only food -- these typewriters were stolen from a bank office.
Whoever wins the battle for Managua will assume control of a gutted shell of a city.
In the western suburbs, scavengers of a different sort hold way. The vultures hove above a cliff - at the bottom, are the mutilated bodies of young men.
Newsmen in Managua have often received reports that the National guard use places like these for dumping the bodies of their victims.
Throughout the city the bombs fall ad bullets fly as the civil war continues. But in this suburb, the vultures are the ultimate winners.