The mass murders in Guatemala

This video, in English, is called Intervencion de la CIA en Guatemala [1954] – 1 of 5.

From British daily The Morning Star:


(Tuesday 26 June 2007)

DRIVEN BY SOCIAL JUSTICE: Political poet Abigail Zammit.

ABIGAIL ZAMMIT explains to ANDY CROFT what drove her to write a book of poetry about brutal US-funded killings in Guatemala.

“Do you think we’ve left proof? In Argentina, there are witnesses, there are books, there are films, there is proof. Here in Guatemala, there is none of that. There are no survivors,” said Guatemalan army public relations chief Colonel Edgar d’Jalma Dominguez in 1984.

The story of Guatemala‘s 36-year-long civil war is a familiar one of exploitation, poverty and repression in pursuit of US interests.

But the “silent holocaust” of Guatemala was extraordinarily brutal, even by the standards of central America, involving CIA-trained death squads, the widespread use of torture and rape, the deliberate targeting of churches and the genocide of 200,000 indigenous peoples.

By the late 1970s, even the US government was embarrassed by the scale of the killings and Jimmy Carter halted military aid to the Guatemalan government.

The Maltese writer Abigail Zammit recently visited Guatemala with the Roman Catholic charity Mission Fund. She was there to help build the first floor of a hospital for disabled children in Jalapa.

Digging Guatemala: Anthropologists Look for Clues to Past Political Killings: here.

Democracy Now! Report: Guatemalan Soldiers Sentenced to 6,060 Years in Prison for Role in 1982 Massacre: here.

Trade unionist killed in Guatemala: here.

March 24, 2011. Internationally-funded Guatemalan bio-fuel interests are evicting Mayan Qeqchi families from their historic lands, destroying homes and crops, killing one and injuring more. Thousands are without food or shelter: here.

Reagan and Guatemala’s Death Files. Robert Parry, Consortium News: “Ronald Reagan’s election in November 1980 set off celebrations in the well-to-do communities of Central America. After four years of Jimmy Carter’s human rights nagging, the region’s anticommunist hard-liners were thrilled that they had someone in the White House who understood their problems. The oligarchs and the generals had good reason for the optimism. For years, Reagan had been a staunch defender of right-wing regimes that engaged in bloody counterinsurgency campaigns against leftist enemies”: here.

GUATEMALA CITY, Mar 13, 2012 (IPS) – “In 1982 they killed my mama and 15 other people, and they burned down our house. Now we are trying to get support, because we have not received any aid,” says Jacinto Escobar, an Ixil Indian who is seeking reparations for the damages sustained during Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war: here.

14 thoughts on “The mass murders in Guatemala

  1. Hi. Thanks for the U-Tube video – it explains the political situation really well and
    furnishes the right background for my collection of poems (Voices from the Land of Trees,
    Smokestack, July 2007)about the silent holocaust of Guatemala. I hope that as many people
    as possible will understand what really went on.


  2. Colom cleared of lawyer’s murder

    Guatemala: A UN investigation has cleared Guatemala’s President Alvaro Colom of involvement in the murder of prominent lawyer Rodrigo Rosenberg.

    Mr Rosenberg, who died in May, had warned in a video that he would be killed on the orders of the president, but investigators found that he had paid his own cousins to kill him without them knowing that he was the victim.

    Local press reports claim that Mr Rosenberg “may have planned his own death to try to topple Mr Colom,” who is the country’s first left-wing leader since 1954.


  3. Arrest warrant for former minister

    Guatemala: A court has issued arrest warrants for a former interior minister and a top police official for allegedly participating in the killing of inmates during a prison escape and uprising.

    Nineteen people are named in the warrants including former interior minister Carlos Vielmann and former national police director Erwin Sperissen.

    They are reportedly implicated in ordering the killing of seven inmates when police regained control of the country’s Pavon prison following an uprising there in 2007 and the execution of three inmates who escaped from the “El Infiernito” prison in 2005.


  4. Ex-leader faces charges of fraud

    Guatemala: A judge has ordered the arrest of former president Alfonso Portillo on embezzlement charges.

    He is accused of stealing £9.6 million from his country’s defence ministry.

    Mr Portillo, president from 2000-4, already faces trial in the US, where he is accused of embezzling $1.5m (£960,000) in foreign donations intended for school library books.

    His trial over the latest charges is set to begin in September.


  5. Ex-officer has hearing delayed

    GUATEMALA: Guatemala City judge has rescheduled a hearing to decide if former army general Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes will stand trial over dozens of massacres of indigenous people during the nation’s civil war.

    Judge Carol Flores pushed back the hearing to October 3 because the general was too ill to attend court.

    He was detained in June on charges that he ordered about 300 massacres when he was chief of staff of the Guatemalan military between 1982 and 1983.


  6. Fifth soldier jailed for 1982 massacre

    GUATEMALA: A former member of an elite US-backed Guatemalan military force was sentenced to 6,060 years in prison on Monday for his role in the killings of 201 people in a 1982 massacre.

    Pedro Pimentel Rios was the fifth former special forces soldier sentenced to 6,060 years or more for what became known as the Dos Erres massacre after the northern Guatemala hamlet, where the atrocity occurred during the country’s 1960-1996 civil war.

    The conflict claimed at least 200,000 lives before it ended in 1996.


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