Sunday, May 19, 2013

Guatemala’s Ríos Montt Genocide Conviction Omen for US Presidents and Their Assassins

Dissident Voice
Jay Janson
May 18, 2013.
José Efraín Ríos Montt began the his political and military career as a young officer taking part in the bloody successful CIA-organized coup against the first democratically elected president in Guatemalan history that was ordered by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. Two years earlier he had attended what peace activists call, the ‘US School for Assassins,’ namely, the long infamous School of the Americas. He ended his career a few days ago, convicted of genocide by the Guatemalan court he once controlled as president and dictator.

Associate Press reported, “The three-judge panel essentially concluded that the massacres followed the same pattern, showing they had been planned, something that would not be possible without the approval of the military command, which Rios Montt headed. In delivering the verdict, Presiding Judge Yassmin Barrios said, ‘he knew about everything that was going on and he did not stop it, despite having the power to stop it from being carried out.’”

US President Ronald Reagan also had the power to stop the massacres being perpetrated by dictator General and President Ríos Montt. Reagan must have been aware of them, known enough about them, and could have stopped those year-and-half-long massacres with far less effort than President Eisenhower had made in ordering the bloody and merciless overthrowing of a popularly elected president, a democratic president, who in making land reform, had gotten in the way of the massive United Fruit Company that owned more than half of Guatemala. In the case of the President of Guatemala and in President Reagan’s case, there was no room for sentiment. It was just business.

Prosecutors argued that Ríos Montt oversaw the massacres of Mayan Indians when he ruled Guatemala from March 1982 to August 1983. Ríos Montt held his power as dictator of Guatemala with the financial, political, and military backing he was receiving from US President Ronald Reagan’s administration, and the administrations of US presidents before him, all of whom represented the interests of the financial consensus that really rules in America.

Midway through the eighteen months of horrific massacres, December of 1982, President Ronald Reagan visited President-General Ríos Montt in Guatemala City and in a press release, praised the dictator, “President Ríos Montt is a man of great personal integrity and commitment…. I know he wants to improve the quality of life for all Guatemalans and to promote social justice.”
Read the rest here.

Comment: The truth will be known and justice is certain.  It is the way of the natural order of things.  Balance is inevitable.

See interview with Nobel Peace laureate and indigenous leader, Rigoberta Menchú, by Democcracy Now!

You may remember that Menchú's father, mother and brother were killed during the Guatemalan genocide.


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