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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 03:44 AM

4. There was a clear difference between the position taken by Carter and Clinton on Guatemala vs Reagan

Very quick example, using the example from this article:

Jennifer Harbury vs. the US government

In 1995, US policy toward Guatemala was driven by the unprecedented public attention to the plight of US citizen Jennifer Harbury, the wife of disappeared guerrilla leader Efrain Bamaca. In 1992, Bamaca was captured and murdered. His wife, American attorney Jennifer Harbury, waged an impassioned campaign to find her husband and bring his killers to justice. Her hunger strikes first in Guatemala City and then in front of the White House, touched a chord among Americans. Representative Robert Toricelli of the House Intelligence Committee revealed that both Michael DeVine and Efrain Bamaca had been executed on the orders of Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, who had been on the CIA payroll for years, and had been trained at the School of the Americas.

Harbury's struggle against the lies, intimidation, and cover-up mounted by the Guatemalan authorities brought to US public attention a reality all too familiar to Guatemalans. In addition, her pressure for answers from the US government prompted the unraveling of a series of revelations about the CIA's secret assistance to abusive military institutions and officers in Guatemala. The scandal revealed a secret policy that for many years had made all but irrelevant Washington's public postures on human rights in Guatemala. In the cascade of revelations, it became clear the CIA had secretly provided millions of dollars in assistance to Guatemala's G-2 unit, even after the US government cut-off of overt military aid and sales in 1990.

In March 1995, the Clinton Administration, as a result of Jennifer Harbury's hunger strike in front of the White House, suspended military training for Guatemalan Army officers. Shortly thereafter, Clinton ordered most of the CIA's assistance to the Guatemalan military suspended, except for anti-narcotics funding. The Intelligence Oversight Board (it had never before been convened) was convened at the end of 1995, but its report was a whitewash, concluding that "No evidence has been found that any employee of the CIA in any way directed, participated in or condoned the murder of Michael DeVine." Perhaps, Alpirez was not considered an "employee" even though he was on the CIA payroll. It seems certain that there will be a similar finding in the Bamaca execution as well.

Several millions of dollars in military aid cut off in 1990 by the Bush administration, was channeled by Clinton into a peace fund to support the work of the MINUGUA human rights verification mission.



[font size=1]Jennifer Harbury and Carol DeVine, the widows of Efrain Velasquez and Michael DeVine
respectively, testify in Congress about the CIA's involvement in the murders of their husbands.[/font]


"We have no scorched earth policy. We have a scorched Communist policy."
Guatemalan President

"The military guys who do this are like serial killers. If Jeffrey Dahmer
had been in Guatemala, he would be a general by now."
- CLYDE SNOW, forensic anthropologist

Compared to the struggles against state tyranny in other Central American countries, very little is heard of Guatemala in the Western media. This is because the level of repression is extremely high; Guatemala has suffered the worst record of human rights abuses in Latin America. During three decades, hundreds of thousands of people have been massacred during their struggle against a government that has been armed and trained by the U.S.

Anyone attempting to organise a union or simply suspected of being in support of the resistance was a target. Armed men broke into their homes and dragged them away. The abducted were tortured, mutilated or burned; their bodies were found buried in mass graves or floating in plastic bags in lakes or rivers, or lying beside the road. Bodies were dropped into the Pacific from airplanes. In the Gualan area, it was said, no one fished any more because too many corpses were caught in the nets. In Guatemala City, right wing terrorists machine-gunned people and houses in daylight. Journalists, lawyers, students, teachers, trade unionists, members of opposition parties, anyone who helped or expressed sympathy for the rebel cause, anyone with a vaguely leftist political association or a moderate criticism of government policy and relatives of the victims were all targets for attack.

"It is hard to find the words to express the state of putrefaction that exists in
Guatemala, and the permanent terror in which the inhabitants live. Every day
bodies are pulled out of the Motagua River, riddled with bullets and partially
eaten by fish. Every day men are kidnapped right in the street by unidentified
people in cars, armed to the teeth, with no intervention by the police patrols."
- from the notebook of MICHELE KIRK, a young French woman who shot
herself in Guatemala City as the police came to her room to make "inquiries."

The U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) contributed to a programme to greatly expand the size of Guatemala's national police force and to develop it into a professional body skilled at counteracting urban disorder. Additionally, the police force was completely supplied with radio patrol cars and a radio communications network and funds to build a national police academy and pay for salaries, uniforms, weapons and equipment.


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