A document written by Nicaragua's Sandinista government reveals that its Army troops have committed some human rights violations, including rape and murder, but a senior official has denied that the government ordered the crimes.
An Interior Ministry report shown to The Washington Post acknowledges that 35 persons have been killed, raped or wounded by government soldiers since 1983.
But in a recent interview, the deputy minister of the interior, Luis Carrion, said, "There were abuses. What is not true is that they were ordered."
The government drew up the document to refute the charges by a former Interior Ministry official, Alvaro Baldizon, who defected to the United States in July 1985. After it was written the government apparently decided against circulating it publicly.
Baldizon told the State Department last year that government troops had killed 2,000 people, most of them under special orders from Sandinista leaders. The testimony has been widely distributed in Washington by the Reagan administration to support its charges of massive human rights abuses by the Sandinista government.
Independent international and Nicaraguan human rights groups, however, have reported some human rights violations in Nicaragua, but no pattern of widespread, systematic abuses by the Nicaraguan government or armed forces.
In an interview at the State Department last October, Baldizon, formerly a member of an Interior Ministry committee for investigation of human rights abuses, said that in 1982 the Sandinistas drew up guidelines for officials in an effort to control "anarchic killings" that might draw international attention.
He said the rules, known as "special measures" require that any summary execution be authorized by Interior Minister Tomas Borge or Carrion. Nicaragua's legal code does not provide for the death penalty.
Baldizon said his office investigated 700 cases in which 2,000 people were killed; 90 percent, he said, were killed under these "special measures."
Representatives of Americas Watch, Amnesty International and the Nicaraguan Permanent Commission on Human Rights interviewed recently could not confirm that the number of political killings by government forces in the past three years had approached 2,000 as alleged by Baldizon.
In a separate development, Americas Watch representative Juan Mendez said here that his group has learned that the families of 99 persons killed by Sandinista troops are receiving financial compensation through a special government program. In a recent visit to Nicaragua, Americas Watch representatives were told by three sources, including a government representative, that the Sandinistas are aiding the families, whose relatives disappeared or were killed on Nicaragua's eastern Atlantic Coast in 1982. A senior government official confirmed that the program exists but did not give the number of families involved.
The Interior Ministry report details the 1983 murders by Sandinista security troops of two Christian evangelists accused of working with the anti-Sandinista guerrillas, as well as the 1985 killing of a draft evader. Those murders appeared to have been politically motivated. In another incident in 1985, a soldier threw a grenade into a discotheque, killing three persons and wounding 21, apparently because of a personal problem.
A high-ranking Sandinista official said that the report, which said that all the soldiers charged received prison sentences, was aimed at countering Baldizon's charges. The official said it may not include all incidents of abuse by the Army.
In January, Baldizon's brother was sentenced to 10 years in jail for encouraging Baldizon to defect, Americas Watch has reported. Baldizon has been sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison for stealing an Interior Ministry document.
Members of Baldizon's family said his wife and father-in-law were detained by security police immediately after he defected.