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The acronym MILPAS originally stood for Milicias Populares Anti-Somocistas, fighting alongside the Sandinista National Liberation Front against the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. However, after his overthrow, some disaffected MILPAS veterans revived it as the Milicias Populares Anti-Sandinistas, one of the earliest rebel groups that would form the contra movement.


In urban areas, the MILPAS was associated with the Frente Obrero and MAP-ML. In rural areas, they fought in the north with Germán Pomares, "El Danto."

The earliest contras inside Nicaragua were the MILPAS (Milicias Populares Anti-Sandinistas), peasant militias led by disillusioned Sandinistas. Founded by Pedro Joaquín González, whose nom de guerre was "Dimas", the Contra Milpistas were also known as chilotes (green corn). Even after his death, other MILPAS bands sprouted during 1980-1981. The Milpistas were composed largely of the campesino highlanders and rural workers who would later form the rank and file of the rebellion.

The MILPAS assimilated into the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN). By 1985, most of the FDN's regional commands were headed by MILPAS veterans. By late 1987, the ranks of ex-MILPAS regional commanders included:

Encarnación Valdivia (Baldivia) Chavarria, "Tigrillo" Rafaela Herrera Regional Command
Francisco Valdivia (Baldivia) Chavarria, "Dimas Tigrillo" Andrés Castro Regional Command
José Danilo Galeano Rodas, "Tiro Al Blanco" Juan Castro Castro Regional Command
Abelardo Zelaya Chavarria, "Ivan" Alonso Irias Regional Command
Oscar Manuel Sobalvarro García, "Rubén" Salvador Perez Regional Command
Anroyce "Rudy" Zelaya Zeledon, "Douglas" Pedro Joaquín González Regional Command
Justo Pastor Meza Aguilar, "Denis" Santiago Meza Regional Command
Fremio Isabel Altamirano Montenegro, "Jimmy Leo" ("Jimileo") Larry McDonald Regional Command
Tirso (Tirzo) Ramón Moreno Aguilar, "Rigoberto" Jorge Salazar I Regional Command
Israel Galeano Cornejo, "Franklin" ("Franklyn") Jorge Salazar II Regional Command
Diógenes Hernández Membreño, "Fernando" Jorge Salazar III Regional Command
Antonio Chavarria Rodríguez, "Dumas" Jorge Salazar V Regional Command
Luis Adán Fley González, "Jhonson" 15 September Regional Command
Freddy Montenegro Gadea Zeledon, "Coral" Quilalí Regional Command


  • Dillon, Sam (1991). Comandos: The CIA and Nicaragua's Contra Rebels. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-1475-6. OCLC 23974023. 
  • Horton, Lynn (1998). Peasants in Arms: War and Peace in the Mountains of Nicaragua, 1979-1994. Athens: Ohio University Center for International Studies. ISBN 0-89680-204-3. OCLC 39157572.