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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:22 PM

Guatemala Ex-Dictator to Stand Trial on Genocide

Source: Associated Press

Guatemala Ex-Dictator to Stand Trial on Genocide
By SONIA PEREZ-DIAZ Associated Press
GUATEMALA CITY January 28, 2013 (AP)

A former U.S.-backed dictator who presided over one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala's civil war will stand trial on charges he ordered the murder, torture and displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians, a judge ruled Monday.

Human rights advocates have said that the prosecution of Jose Efrain Rios Montt would be an important symbolic victory for the victims of one of the most horrific of the conflicts that devastated Central America during the last decades of the Cold War.

He is the first former president to be charged with genocide by a Latin American court.

Guatemala's leaders have been criticized for years for their inability or unwillingness to prosecute government forces and allied paramilitaries accused of marching into Mayan villages, carrying out rapes and torture, and slaughtering women, children and unarmed men in a "scorched earth" campaign aimed at eliminating the support for a left-wing guerrilla movement.

~snip~
During the 1960-96 civil war, more than 200,000 people, mostly Mayan Indians, were killed or went missing and entire villages were exterminated, according to the United Nations.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/guatemala-dictator-stand-trial-genocide-18337699

16 replies, 2818 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 04:35 PM

1. K&R

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:00 PM

2. Rios Montt is a war criminal...and an anti-communist hero.

I recall seeing his soldiers dragging terrified young men off passenger buses when I traveled through there in 1982. I didn't want to think about what happened to those guys.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:29 PM

6. It wouldn't have been good, no doubt. Horrid memory. At least there was a witness from the U.S.

who was there NOT dishing out the torture, anyway.

Thank you for your comment.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 05:47 PM

3. Great news.

Roast, you monster.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:23 PM

4. Yet a far-left dictator gets praised. (Raul Castro)

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Response to Archae (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:30 PM

7. Really? Who praised this "far-left dictator"? What would he have to do with this thread? n/t

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Response to Archae (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:13 PM

9. What ARE you trying to say? Better than playing on a democratic message board, spend time

learning about what has happened in Latin America and the Caribbean. Know about the subject before you try to discuss it, and when you try to discuss it, have something to say, for crying out loud.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:26 PM

5. Memory refresher: Illinois congressman weds daughter of former dictator

Posted 11/21/2004 11:19 AM
Illinois congressman weds daughter of former dictator

ANTIGUA, Guatemala (AP) — They met during a trade mission, and despite controversy over their engagement, U.S. Rep. Jerry Weller of Illinois and the outspoken daughter of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt tied the knot Saturday in a civil ceremony.

About 300 people — including Rios Montt — attended the wedding of the Republican congressman from central Illinois and Zury Rios Sosa, a 36-year-old Guatemalan senator. Security was tight as the two exchanged wedding vows at a mansion belonging to the former dictator.

Rios Sosa wore a creamed-colored, strapless dress, Weller a black suit. U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala John Hamilton also attended.

A large security team watched the home, which also was encircled by a high stone wall topped by electrified wire, in this colonial mountain town popular with tourists.

Weller's opponents criticized the engagement because Rios Montt, a retired general who seized control of Guatemala for 18 months in 1982-83, is accused of leading one of the bloodiest campaigns in the nation's 36-year civil war, which killed 200,000 people.

More:
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2004-11-21-congressman-guatemalan-wed_x.htm



"Happy couple" Repub. Congressman Jerry Weller and Zury Rios-Montt







Rios-Montt and his America friend and sponsor.

Monsters and perverts.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:30 PM

10. Woohoo, some files might get finally dusted!

Good.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:04 PM

11. This guy was a favorite of Pat Robertson's.

And the civil war began in large part because the US government (Eisenhower/Nixon/Dulles) helped the right wing military overthrow Guatemala's democratically elected government.

Glad to see Montt will finally, hopefully, face justice.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:56 PM

12. It's only taken 30 years

Sadly, that's about par for the course

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:03 AM

13. Reagan Administration Knew of Guatemalan Atrocities, Documents Reveal

Reagan Administration Knew of Guatemalan Atrocities, Documents Reveal
by: PA Staff Writers
March 21 2009
3-20-09, 12:42 am

Upon entering office in 1981, Ronald Reagan overturned a Carter administration embargo against the military dictatorships that governed Guatemala with terror and violence. Reagan then side-stepped Congress and changed rules overseeing foreign aid and handed the dictators millions in military aid.

In December 1982, Reagan met with Efrain Ríos Montt, who had just seized power along with a junta of military officers, and described him as 'totally dedicated to democracy.' Reagan dismissed reports that his regime ruthlessly violated human rights as a 'bum rap.' Reagan continued to back successive dictators in that country.
Reagan's support for Rios and the country's subsequent dictators made human rights another casualty in his ideologically motivated Cold War against the Soviet Union, which Reagan insisted was backing the military regime's political opposition.

Over the course of the past several years, declassified documents from CIA and other US government sources revealed that Reagan's claims were lies and that the US government knew that the right-wing Guatemalan dictatorships systemically massacred political opponents. International and US sanctions against the right-wing Guatemalan dictators had been justified.

Newly declassified documents from the US State Department compiled and publicized this week by the National Security Archive gave further credence to claims that the Reagan administration understood and tried to hide the truth about the Guatemalan regime's human rights atrocities. While attempting to blame guerilla groups that fought the military dictatorship for the bulk of the violence, a State Department report in February of 1984 noted, 'Government security services have employed assassination to eliminate persons suspected of involvement with the guerrillas or who are otherwise left-wing in orientation.'

More:
http://www.politicalaffairs.net/reagan-administration-knew-of-guatemalan-atrocities-documents-reveal/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:22 AM

14. Guatemala court orders trial of former dictator, rejects appeals

Guatemala court orders trial of former dictator, rejects appeals
Reuters
6:08 p.m. EST, January 28, 2013

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - A Guatemalan court ordered 86-year-old former dictator Efrain Rios Montt on Monday to face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, throwing out 13 appeals presented by his defense. A judge found sufficient proof linking Rios Montt, who ruled during a particularly bloody period of the country's 36-year civil war, to the killing of more than 1,700 indigenous people in a counterinsurgency operation in 1982 and 1983.

"It has been established that there is serious enough evidence to submit the parties involved to a public trial," judge Miguel Angel Galvez said, convening the defense and prosecutors to an initial hearing on Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege Rios Montt, who ruled as commander-in-chief for 17 months, turned a blind eye as soldiers used rape, torture and arson against leftist insurgents and targeted indigenous people during a 'scorched earth' military offensive that killed at least 1,771 members of the Ixil tribe.

Rios Montt was ordered to trial in January 2012 for the same alleged crimes, but his defense team stalled the process with a series of appeals, arguing that he did not control battlefield operations and that genocide never happened in Guatemala.

More:
http://www.courant.com/news/nation-world/sns-rt-us-guatemala-riosmonttbre90r15i-20130128,0,4878150.story

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:27 AM

15. A "killing field" in the Americas:US policy in Guatemala

A "killing field" in the Americas:
US policy in Guatemala

~snip~
Reagan and Rios Montt
The 1980s was marked by barbaric repression and the massacre of the indigenous population. A succession of elected dictators, supported by the US, left suffering in their wake. Because of the notoriety that again developed from reports of human rights violations by the Guatemalan Army, President Reagan changed the US policy of overt aid to the Guatemalan Army to a two- track policy. While government spokespersons made public pronouncements in support of human rights and the return to civilian rule, the Reagan Administration signaled to the Guatemalan Army its approval for winning the war, and it lobbied Congress for more aid. The CIA continued to work with Guatemala's security forces.

General Efrain Rios Montt, a graduate of the School of the Americas (SOA), at Fort Benning, Georgia, came to power in a 1982 coup. Praised as a "born-again" Christian reformer, in truth he was one of the most savage of Guatemalan dictators. His "Beans and Rifles" program was designed to keep guerrillas out of Indian villages -- beans for those who cooperated, rifles for those who didn't. He declared a "state of siege", and on television, he stated that he had "declared a state of siege so that we could kill legally". He banned public meetings, suspended the constitution, replaced elected officials, and censored the press. He also instituted Civil Defense Patrols (PACs) to control the population.

Rios Montt moved the war from urban centers to the countryside where "the spirit of the lord" guided him against "communist subversives', mostly indigenous Indians. As Guatemalans suffered torture, kidnappings, and massacres at the hands of the government, he presented himself as the savior of the population. Using the lessons he had learned at the SOA, he implemented a "pacification" program similar to that used by the US in Vietnam, intended to give the impression that the government wanted to reestablish democracy in the country. In reality, as the "pacification" program moved from village to village, it essentially established concentration camps populated by those who had been able to survive the massacres and political genocide which the government itself carried out.

During the 17 months of Rios Montt's "Christian" campaign, 400 villages were destroyed, 10 - 20,000 Indians were killed, and over 100,000 fled to Mexico. Early in 1983, President Reagan resumed military shipments to Guatemala, claiming that Montt's program against the guerrilla insurgency was working. He said that Montt was given a "bum rap" on human rights.

More:
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/US_ThirdWorld/US_Guat.html

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 06:53 AM

16. bush & cheney Need to be Tried for WAR CRIMES

 

Last edited Tue Jan 29, 2013, 07:41 PM - Edit history (4)

at the ICC ("International Criminal Court" at the Hague) as soon as possible. Their (still-living) victims will NEVER be whole again until those war criminals/criminals against humanity are brought to justice.

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