Central American news agency marks 40 years with pictures

A girl is dressed for her first Communion amid the debris of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras at the end of October and beginning of November 1998. The estimate of destruction was $4 billion.

Central America’s own news service is celebrating 40 years here, and 45 photos of dramatic and historical moments will be on display starting Friday at the Museo de los Niños.

The agency is the Agencia Centroamericana de Noticias, a creation of the Spanish news service Agencia EFE S.A. It is known as ACAN-EFE.

The Central American agency came into being in June 1973 because of what the company said was the scarcity of information among the countries. Some 20 subscribers to EFE were the founders.

ACAN-EFE photo
Gen. Manuel Noriega reviews his troops before the U.S. invasion and his arrest for trafficking drugs.

Costa Rica is the first stop for the photo exhibition.  The photos will be here until July 20. The agency calls the exhibit 40 years of sharing the history of Central America, and there certainly has been no shortage of news.

The agency began a year after the devastating Nicaraguan earthquake, and that country became a hot spot as Anastasio Somoza tried to hang on to absolute power. An insurgency developed, culminating in the Nicaraguan civil war in which the United States had a leading role.

The agency also saw the arrival of Pope John Paul II to the Americas in 1983, the United States invasion of Panamá in 1989, Hurricane Mitch that killed 5,000 in Honduras in 1998 and the continuing struggle of the Guatemalan Indians against genocide by the central government.

All these events and others are commemorated in the photos.

A Guatemalan Indian woman challenges the national police during a civil protest over the free trade treaty with the United States. ACAN-EFE photo

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