While Nicaraguan government agents and police search desperately for her throughout the country, a 70-year-old nurse from the United States is spending her days "just being quiet and praying."

Dorothy Granada went into hiding in the early hours of December 8, shortly before 15 soldiers armed with machine guns surrounded her house in Mulukuku, a remote jungle village about 100 miles north-east of Nicaragua's capital, Managua. Since then she has remained in hiding, provoking the anger of the government while receiving support from church groups and human rights organizations around the world.

Granada arrived in war-torn Mulukuku in 1990 and opened a clinic to serve the area's 30, 000 residents. An Episcopalian, she and her clinic are supported by a network of Protestant churches in the United States.

On November 14, Nicaragua's President Arnoldo Aleman announced that the government would investigate the clinic, which is part of a women's co-operative. Aleman sent ministry of health investigators to Mulukuku, where they seized patients' records and ordered the partial closure of the clinic. He claimed that Granada performed abortions, which are illegal in this country, and provided political support to the opposition Sandinista National Liberation Front, which, after a revolution in 1979, held power in Nicaragua until 1990.

Four days after troops failed to arrest her on December 8 (Granada had been warned of the troops' arrival in the village), interior minister Jose Marenco ordered her deportation. The clinic was closed down, and several government agencies began charging Granada with crimes ranging from providing assistance to armed rebels to using illegally-cut wood in the co-operative's carpentry workshop.

Granada is receiving ...

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