Most people in the United States remember Nicaragua from the Iran/Contra affair of the 80's. After the civil war, the eastern coast won their independence and were declared to be Autonomous. This declaration was set down in Law 445. The easiest way to think about the people from the east coast is to liken them to the Indian reservations in the U.S. The people are self-governing and make decisions based on what is best for their community, the right to self rule is validated in Law 28. These laws have been upheld in a Nicaraguan Supreme Court decision favoring the indigenous Indians.