This article appeared on the Guardian's Comment is Free website.
Perpetrator of Genocide writes for Comment is Free
By Joe Emersberger at Apr 08, 2012
If the Guardian / Observer gives a platform to a perpetrator of genocide, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, why not give at least as prominent a platform to his victims? Isn't that the minimum that common decency would demand?
The United Nations sponsored Truth Commission issued a report on war crimes in Guatemala that took place for more than 35 years. It found that the military was responsible for a campaign of genocide against Guatemala's Mayan citizens. Roughly 200,000 persons had been extra-judicially executed or forcibly "disappeared". The military was found responsible for 93% of those human rights violations
As Rights Action stated in a letter to the UN Special Raporteur on Torture
"In 1982, Perez Molina held the rank of Major, and was in a command position in the Ixil triangle. As the Truth Commission documents, half of all the massacres occurred during this period and in this region. Between 70 and 90% of the villages were razed. Acts of torture, murder and mutilation were daily events. The survivors in the region recognize and remember him only too well. Moreover, a documentary film from the year 1982 shows Allan Nairn interviewing him in that region in 1982. Nearby lay the terribly battered corpses of four prisoners. Although Perez Molina uses the false name of Tito Arias, he can be easily recognized both by his voice as well as his facial features.