organisation brought in to attempt the military
overthrow of the Nicaragua
established by the Sandinistas
Contra tactics included the random killing of unarmed villagers in remote areas. The burning of schools, medical centers and homes.
They lacked any popular support in Nicaragua but were heavily armed and often able to defeat the ill-equipped peoples army of Nicaragua.
They were used to terrify the local population into voting for an American backed candidate in elections. The threat being that if the wrong person was voted for the Contra actions would continue. The threat worked.