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Mon Apr 8, 2019, 02:31 PM

Only member of Congress born in Central America says U.S. shares blame for instability


APRIL 8, 2019 / 2:26 PM / CBS NEWS

Washington — Citing an unprecedented flow of migrant families heading towards the southern border, President Trump announced last week his administration would be cutting all foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Although the president believes it will force the region's governments to curb migration, the sole member of Congress born in Central America predicts the move will not only lead to more migration, but also ignore America's "moral" responsibility to the region.

California Democratic Rep. Norma Torres, who was born in Guatemala, said the U.S. played a significant role in creating or exacerbating some of the problems driving mass migration in the region, including widespread poverty, chronic violence and rampant political corruption and instability.

. . .

In 1954, the U.S. sponsored a coup in Guatemala, helping to topple a democratically elected reformist leader and install right-wing general Carlos Castillo Armas, whose government was succeeded by a series of U.S.-backed military regimes. From 1960 to 1996, the Central American country was engulfed in a bloody civil war between conservative military governments supported by the U.S. and several Marxist groups.

A Guatemalan truth commission revealed 200,000 people were killed or disappeared during the decades-long war, and 83 percent of the victims were Mayan. In its investigation, the commission also found the U.S.-backed government and pro-government paramilitary units were responsible for 93 percent of the human rights violations.


"pro-government paramilitary units" are commonly known as "death squads."

~ ~ ~

Internal Military Log Reveals Fate of 183 "Disappeared"
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 15
Posted – May 20, 1999

Washington, D.C., May 20, 1999 – The Guatemalan military kept detailed records of its death squad operations, according to a document released by four human rights and public interest groups today. The army log reveals the fate of scores of Guatemalan citizens who were "disappeared" by security forces during the mid-1980s. Replete with photos of 183 victims and coded references to their executions, the 54-page document was smuggled out of the Guatemalan army’s intelligence files and provided to human rights advocates in February, just two days before a UN-sponsored truth commission released its report on the country’s bloody 35-year civil war.
Representatives of the National Security Archive, the Washington Office on Latin America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Human Rights Watch disclosed the document at a noon-time press conference on Thursday, May 20, at the National Press Club, calling it "the only known record of its kind." The logbook covers death squad activity by Guatemalan intelligence units during an 18-month period between August 1983 and March 1985. A two-page excerpt appears in the June 1999 issue of Harper's Magazine.

"This chilling document is the death squad equivalent of an annual productivity report, an account from inside the secret files of Guatemala’s killing machine," said Kate Doyle, an analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America and director of The Guatemala Project at the National Security Archive, located at George Washington University. "It is absolutely unique -- a rare glimpse of organized political murder from the perspective of the perpetrators who committed it."

Throughout the war, the Guatemalan military used abduction, torture and assassination in their counterinsurgency campaign against the Guatemalan left. By the time the government and the guerrillas signed the peace accord in 1996, some 160,000 people had been killed and 40,000 "disappeared" -- 93 percent at the hands of the Guatemalan security forces, according to "Guatemala: Memory of Silence," the report of the Historical Clarification Commission.

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Reply Only member of Congress born in Central America says U.S. shares blame for instability (Original post)
Judi Lynn Apr 2019 OP
murielm99 Apr 2019 #1
Judi Lynn Apr 2019 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Apr 9, 2019, 10:25 AM

1. This is more the Reagan legacy than anything else.

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Response to murielm99 (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 10, 2019, 02:29 AM

2. He has a lot of blood on his dead hands after what he did there. n/t

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