Former Guatemalan Dictator Convicted Of Genocide

guatemalan dictator

The military dictatorship led by Montt slaughtered thousands upon thousands of villagers in an effort to exterminate Guatemala’s indigenous ethnic Mayan population, which it regarded as sympathetic to leftist rebels. No word on whether the CIA and Ronald Reagan will be tried posthumously as accessories. Reuters reports:

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison. It was the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country.

Montt, now 86, took power after a coup in 1982 and implemented a scorched-earth policy in which troops massacred thousands of indigenous villagers thought to be helping leftist rebels.

Prosecutors say Montt turned a blind eye as soldiers used rape, torture and arson to try to rid Guatemala of leftist rebels during his 1982-1983 rule, the most violent period of a 1960-1996 civil war in which as many as 250,000 people died. He was tried over the killings of at least 1,771 members of the Maya Ixil indigenous group, just a fraction of the number who died during his rule.

“I feel happy. May no one else ever have to go through what I did. My community has been sad ever since this happened,” said Elena de Paz, an ethnic Maya Ixil who was two years old in 1983 when soldiers stormed her village, killed her parents and burned her home.

Guatemala’s civil war ended with peace accords signed in 1996 but the Central American nation remains a deeply divided society with very poor indigenous areas. The right-wing party that Montt founded changed its name this year to distance itself from its past.

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan provided support for Rios Montt’s government and said in late 1982 that the dictator was getting a “bum rap” from rights groups for his military campaign against left-wing guerrillas during the Cold War. He also once called Rios Montt “a man of great personal integrity”.

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  • Juan

    This EVIL FUCK could not have done what he did were it not for the CIA and The School of the Americas, or whatever the fuck they’re calling it these days; prolly
    something like Hemespheric Development and Security or some shit like that.
    Of course, no mention in corporate-state media of his CIA handlers and Raygun’s involvement in this mass murder. The US is, as usual, blameless.
    Didn’t whole ugly business get started in the mid 50s because The American Fruit Co., now Dole, felt it was their right to exploit the people and the country anyway they saw fit? This then led to people electing a socialist gov that was then overthrown by a US coup for the benefit of The American Fruit Co.
    Sorry, my memory is sketchy on the details. It’s been years since I read about all this stuff.

    • namvetted68

      Don’t forget about the role Kissinger played in this global realpolitik with both Nixon and then Reagan.

      • Juan

        Yes, him too; another mass-murdering, piece of walking shit that deserves the same fate as Mussolini.

      • Juan

        Yes, him too; another mass-murdering, piece of walking shit that deserves the same fate as Mussolini.

    • namvetted68

      Don’t forget about the role Kissinger played in this global realpolitik with both Nixon and then Reagan.

    • Aungsan

      Yeah, Árbenz, overthrown by the Dulles brothers, the United Fruit Company and the CIA, in 1954.

      • Juan

        Yep, that’s it, thanks.

    • InfvoCuernos

      The same could be said when Saddam Hussian was hanged. The US put him in power too, hell, for that matter we could say that of Osama bin Laden, or about a dozen other dictators around the globe.

      • Juan

        Could not agree more.

    • jnana

      Arbenz wasn’t actually socialist, I believe, although his policies were essentially socialistic.

      • Juan

        Close enough that The Empire decided it needed to get rid of him and install a suitable pimp who would sell them the country, its people and its resources cheap.

  • echar

    A person I knew who grew up In Guatemala during his time views this guy as good. This person said to me that he made the streets safe for kids to play, and got rid of the people who were corrupt. Such as those in charge of the water.

    I was surprised this person feels this way, yet the media is calling him a monster. Which I do not doubt. This experience has cemented the effectiveness of propaganda for me, because I doubt they were advertising the Mayans that were murdered and raped.

    • Juan

      Dude, I know what you mean. My extended family, aunts, uncles, cosins, etc are the bourgiouse of Medellin. They are perfectly ok and supportive of the status quo. Murdered union leaders and investigative journalists are ok with them, as long as they are able to visit their country homes for the holidays undisturbed. It’s pretty fucked up.

      • echar

        In this person’s defense, they grew up dirt poor. Dirt floors and tin roofs. They did go to school, so this person is educated, but I wonder if a teacher started talking out against if they would end up in a mass grave. So strange how it is accepted behavior. Like the explanation in the Central American Ex-Pat article posted by Matt suggests.

        http://disinfo.com/2013/05/via-reddit-why-american-ex-pats-go-crazy-in-central-america/

    • Aungsan

      They always sell that idea of security, while they are killing a bunch of people, policies of fear and denial are not to be underestimated.

      • echar

        Frightening!

  • Juan

    Hi, we’ve missed you.

  • BuzzCoastin

    for a minute there I thought maybe Bush & Raygun had finally been been punished
    but no!
    it’s their lap dog that took the hit

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    It would be nice if this mean that Bush and Cheney could be indicted and sent to 80 years of hard time. But the USA is not a free country and that is not going to happen.

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