Adolfo Calero

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Adolfo Calero Portocarrero is a Nicaraguan businessman and politician who became a leading figure in the US-backed Contra rebellion of the 1980s.[1]

According to the CIA's account, Calero was active in the opposition to dictator Anastasio Somoza, who was overthrown by the Sandinistas in 1979.[2]

According to US embassy officials, Calero initially sought to work with the new FSLN government. However, by late 1980, he had publicly criticised the Sandinistas.[3]

Calero left the country in December 1982 and joined the leadership of the opposition FDN. In January 1983, he travelled to Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia in search of support.[4]

Calero later became president and Commander in Chief of the FDN, the main Contra group of the 'Northern Front' operating out of Honduras.[5]

In an effort to unify the Contra forces, Calero joined Arturo Cruz and Alfonso Robelo in the leadership triumvirate of the United Nicaraguan Opposition, formed in mid-1985.[6]

Disputes with Robelo and Cruz led Calero to resign from the UNO leadership in early 1987. He went on to become a leading figure in the Nicaraguan Resistance (RN) formed in May that year.[7]

In February 1988, amid press reports of Contra drug-trafficking, a CIA cable informed Headquarters a "Nicaraguan exile had alleged at a meeting in Miami, Florida, that Enrique Bermudez, Adolfo Calero, Aristides Sanchez, and another individual were all involved in drug smuggling."[8]

The CIA described its response as follows:

According to a February 1988 Headquarters cable, CIA records were searched in February 1988 regarding the Nicaraguan exile in response to his allegations that Calero and other UNO/FDN leaders had engaged in drug smuggling. The cable indicated that a number of sources characterized him as unstable, a swindler and as having a reputation of being a drug dealer in Nicaragua before leaving that country in 1983.[9]

According to the CIA information about this allegation was forwarded to the FBI but not reported to Congress.[10]

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