2.1 Million

US Military, Independent Mercenaries,
Spanish, English
mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry)40%, white (mostly Spanish and Italian) 32%,  black (Afro-Nicaragüense) 20%, Other (Amerindian, or other non-white groups 8%
Northern Nicaragua, Costa Rica
Democratic Autnomous Republic del Atlantico Sur - Atlantico was formed by a rival U.S. Backed Dictator and Contras, while the rest of Nicaragua remained under the control of the leftist Sandinistas which rose back to power after the South American war. The Rest of Nicaragua is therefore very leftist and reliant on agricultural sales (which have been difficult through the introduction of DEA bioplagues), in an attempt to stay economically independent. While this U.S. backed province, including the Region Autonoma del Atlantico Sur, Rio San Juan, and Chontales; relies on jobs provided by U.S. corporations. The name of the budding nation comes from its primary region, the Region Autonoma del Atlantico Sur. Originally this region was very independent and it lead to its breakaway and control by U.S. Military forces during their crackdown on the cocoa fields throughout Nicaragua. Bluefields was at first strike base for U.S. Military troops and was seized by naval blockade during the war. It remained a U.S. stronghold even after the “Long March,” as troops held the city and used it as a fall back point for fleeing personnel. The puppet status of the government allowed the U.S. to keep soldiers there, perpetually fighting a war with the Sandinistas up North. However, actual expansion and progress was halted after the “Long March,” and the economic strain caused by the war. Therefore the Sandinistas were never vanquished and the Intelligence and PsyWar operatives who chose to stay behind rather than evacuate resorted to being consultants for the puppet government and helping to train soldiers and contras. A lot of U.S. hardware was left behind on the ports of Bluefields during the evacuations and it so far has served the Atlantico military well.

The Government itself is a U.S. funded dictatorship that masks itself under the guise of a Democratic Republic, the President is actually an American named Cornelius Jara. The government passes laws through a hastily constructed body called National Congress, where the Vice President serves as the speaker of the house. The President can veto any and all laws and even propose his own to be voted on. The government in actuality has very little control over the regulation of foreign entities in their own country. The founding document of Atlantico forbids violation of international trade agreements with the United States, a catch-all for business activity by American companies in Atlantico Sur.

Altantico also uses american and contra mercenaries, government paid forces who often change sides based on the pay available. The Government cannot afford to pay high quality mercenary forces such as Lazarus troops, waiting for special occasions or conflicts to spend money on such forces. Typically the Contras come from CIA trained guerillas brought in from nearby countries or leftover from the SouthAm war, specifically trained in Pys-Ops and terror tactics in order to prevent local populations from joining leftist guerillas. Recently Edgerunners from America have been hired on through contact hirers and fixers in America, promising great rewards while paying very low wages for the ambitious and usually cyber-enhanced troops. The range of weapons used by mercenaries is long and varied, but usually consists of American made military-grade weaponry.

The Atlantico government could be argued to be only afloat as a means of keeping the daily economy running and operational for U.S. corporations. Many corporations, such as Cola Companies, Sporting Good Manufacturers, Shoe Companies, and similar manufacturers run sweat shops in Atlantico Sur. These sweat shops pay very low wages to the local population, usually no more than the equivalent of 1 or 2 euros a day per worker. The economy is still a fickle beast, not only from all the repairs that have had to been made since the war and security concerns, but revolutionary fighting can quickly alter the exchange rate and scare foreign investors out. The Capitol of Bluefields has tried to regulate many shops to accept Eurodollars as another form of currency, but most local vendors and small business do not accept Eurodollars, as they are only accepted by American business typically and exchanging them is often a bureaucratic process.

There are many night clubs and bars operating throughout Bluefields and other coastal cities, as well as newer tourist Hotels which are mostly under construction. Government regulations on drugs, prostitution, and gambling are minimal if not nonexistent. Several foreign-run casinos have popped up and the atmosphere appeals to organized crime. Bluefields remains the largest tourism industry, but it is still a gamble for any foreign investor due to economic issues. Most of the local populace is devoutly religious and doesn’t have the money to attend any of these tourist luxuries. Local festivals continue the same as they do in Northern Nicaragua and religion is important to the local Atlantico citizens more than anything, especially in honoring the dead who were lost in the long costly war. Many locals are dissatisfied with their conditions in their own country, but few can dream of joining the rebels for fear of violent death at the hands of Contra murder squads. Cultural dances and music have become growing activities among the locals, as well as other entertainment, such as street theatres all designed to drain money from the rich American tourists and businessmen.
Most Nicaraguans begin and end every day with Gallo pinto, a meal of rice and beans cooked separately and then fried together. On the Atlantic coast it is common to add coconut oil to the dish.

(Written by Joe "Citizen X" Klemann: Some Information is taken from the CIA Worldfactbook, Wikipedia, Geographia.com, and Cyberpunk 2020.)