Despite the proclamation of a state of emergency in Nicaragua last month -- caused by its suspicion of its northern neighbour, Honduras, and of the intentions of the United States -- the Sandinista government is proceeding with its programme of land redistribution.
GV PAN Burnt scrub on hillside (3 shots)
SV & GV Men hacking at long grass (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK Woman bringing food to husband working in field
SV Bullock cart loaded with crop
SV Man walking with knife and bundle of firewood
GV EXTERIOR House, INTERIOR cooking stove (2 shots)
SCU Woman washing
GV & SV Co-operative committee meeting (2 shots)
SCU Woman adviser speaking
LV Two men walking along track as loudspeaker calls them
GV Family outside house, SV small girl in doorway, loudspeaker continues (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT OF SEQUENCE 9:
WOMAN ADVISER: "One of the first problems is illiteracy, definitely. Of these fifteen members the co-operative has, six of them are complete illiterates. So even the president, he only has three years of school. So you can imagine how difficult it is for them to manage."
REPORTER: "Do they have difficulty in actually managing the land and the area under their control? Do illiteracy and other education problems make it much harder for them to run the property?"
WOMAN ADVISER: "Oh, definitely. For example, the member who is in charge of finances, he doesn't even know how to count. So he has told us sometimes he has to ask one of his sons to help him, and that's a boy that's eight years old."
REPORTER: JIM MIDDLETON (AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING COMMISSION)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Despite the proclamation of a state of emergency in Nicaragua last month -- caused by its suspicion of its northern neighbour, Honduras, and of the intentions of the United States -- the Sandinista government is proceeding with its programme of land redistribution. About 300 communes have been established on land formerly owned by the late President Somosa and his friends. Thirteen families live on one of the smaller ones in the department of Masaya, in the south-west of the country, which has been named Co-operative Mauricio Robles after a dead Sandinista hero. Men are at work on the hillsides, burning off the dry grass to prepare for the new crops they will plant when the rainy season starts. They will grow corn and sorghum, beans and other vegetables. They work long hours, and their wives bring food out to them. After work, they return to the commune and may attend a meeting of the co-operative committee. The commune controls all its own affairs: what it will produce and how production is to be financed. As a woman adviser from Ecuador explains, this is not easy for them, as many are illiterate. Some are also military reservists and liable to be recalled to service at short notice by loud hailer.