Thursday, July 13, 2006


In response to an arrest order by a Spanish judge, Former Guatemalan dictator (and recent presidential candidate) Efraín Ríos Montt says he was unaware of any atrocities committed while he was in power. Further:

Rios Montt insisted that he is being accused unfairly by a judge who fails "to remember that there was a war in Guatemala, a guerrilla war in which terrorists destroyed bridges, schools, electric plants and other buildings of the people."

The Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification (often referred to as a “truth commission”) released a report in 1999 after five years of work investigating human rights abuses during the civil war. One of its conclusions was the following:

Human rights violations and acts of violence attributable to actions by the State represent 93% of those registered by the CEH; they demonstrate that human rights violations caused by state repression were repeated, and that, although varying in intensity, were prolonged and continuous, being especially severe from 1978 to 1984, a period during which 91% of the violations documented by the CEH were committed. Eighty-five percent of all cases of human rights violations and acts of violence registered by the CEH are attributable to the Army, acting either alone or in collaboration with another force, and 18%, to the Civil Patrols, which were organised by the armed forces.

So when Ríos Montt talks about the threat of terrorism, he is correct, but the threat was primarily state-sponsored terrorism. In other words, him.


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