"The modern history of Guatemala was decisively shaped by the U.S.-organized invasion and overthrow of the democratically elected regime of Jacobo Arbenz in June 1954. Since that time, while Guatemala has remained securely within the U.S. sphere of influence, badly needed economic and social reforms were put off the agenda indefinitely, political democracy was stifled, and state terror was institutionalized and reached catastrophic levels in the late 1970s and early 1980s."

The U.S. establishment overthrew the Arbenz government in 1954 because it "...found the pluralism and democracy of the years 1945-54 intolerable." Since that time "...not only has Guatemala gradually become a terrorist state rarely matched in the scale of systematic murder of civilians, but its terrorist proclivities have increased markedly at strategic moments of escalated U.S. intervention."

"In 1966, a further small guerrilla movement brought the Green Berets and a major CI [Counter-Insurgency] war in which 10,000 people were killed in pursuit of three or four hundred guerrillas. It was at this point that the 'death squads' and 'disappearances' made their appearance in Guatemala. The United States brought in police training in the 1970s, which was followed by the further institutionalization of violence. The 'solution' to social problems in Guatemala, specifically attributable to the 1954 intervention and the form of U.S. assistance since that time, has been permanent state terror. With Guatemala, the United States invented the 'counterinsurgency state.'"

"During the Reagan years, the number of civilians murdered in Guatemala ran into the tens of thousands, and disappearances and mutilated bodies were a daily occurrence. Studies by Amnesty International (AI), Americas Watch (AW), and other human-rights monitors have documented a military machine run amok, with the indiscriminate killing of peasants (including vast numbers of women and children), the forcible relocation of hundreds of thousands of farmers and villagers into virtual concentration camps, and the enlistment of many hundreds of thousands in compulsory civil patrols."

The number of civilians murdered between 1978 and 1985 may have approached 100,000 [one-hundred thousand], with a style of killing reminiscent of Pol Pot. As AI [Amnesty International] pointed out in 1981:"

The bodies of the victims have been found piled up in ravines, dumped at roadsides or buried in mass graves. Thousands bore the scars of torture, and death had come to most by strangling with a garrotte, by being suffocated in rubber hoods or by being shot in the head.

"The holocaust years 1978-85 yielded a steady stream of documents by human-rights groups that provided dramatic evidence of a state terrorism in Guatemala approaching genocidal levels. The spectacular AI [Amnesty International] report of 1981 on 'Disappearances: A Workbook,' describ[ed] a frightening development of state terrorism in the Nazi mold.”

"Human-rights monitoring and protective agencies have had a very difficult time organizing and surviving in the 'death-squad democracies' of El Salvador and Guatemala. Between October 1980 and March 1983, five officials of the Human Rights Commission of El Salvador were seized and murdered by the security forces."

"Guatemala has been even more inhospitable to human-rights organizations than El Salvador. Guatemalan Archbishop Monsignor Prospero Penados del Barrio asserted in 1984 that 'It is impossible for a human rights office to exist in Guatemala at the present time.' 'Disappearances' as an institutional form began in Guatemala in the mid-1960s and eventually reached levels unique in the Western Hemisphere, with the total estimated to be some 40,000 [forty thousand]. Protest groups that have formed to seek information and legal redress have been consistently driven out of business by state-organized murder. The Association of University Students (AEU) sought information on the disappeared through the courts in the course of a brief opening in 1966 but after one sensational expos\'e of the police murder of twenty eight leftists, the system closed down again. [...] In the 1970s a Committee of the Relatives of the Disappeared was organised by the AEU with headquarters in San Carlos National University. As Americas Watch points out, ``It disbanded after plainclothesmen walked into the University's legal aid center on March 10, 1974 and shot and killed its principal organizer, lawyer Edmundo Guerra Theilheimer, the center's director.'' Another human-rights group, the National Commission for Human Rights, was created in the late 1970s by psychologist and journalist Irma Flaquer. Her son was murdered and she herself ``disappeared'' on October 16, 1980. "

" According to the British Parliamentary Human Rights Group, in 1984 alone there were an average of one hundred political murders and over forty disappearances per month in Guatemala. These figures are almost surely an underestimate, as only the disappearances that took place in and around Guatemala City received any publicity. The greater number of murders and disappearances occur among the rural and Indian families who do not have the resources to complain and are more exposed to retaliation. "

"In this context of murder, fear, and the prior failure of all human-rights organizations, the Mutual Support Group, or GAM, was formed in June 1984. It was a product of the desperation felt by people seeking information on the whereabouts of disappeared relatives and willing to take serious risks to that end. [...] The intention of the organizers of GAM was to seek strength by collective action, and to use it to gather data and seek redress by petition and publicity."

"Thirty members of the newly organized GAM held a press conference in Guatemala City in June 1984, denouncing the disappearances and calling on the government 'to intervene immediately in order to find our loved ones.' In the latter part of June, and again in early August, masses were held in the Metropolitan Cathedral to express concern over the fate of the disappeared, with the initial services held by the university rector, Meyer Maldonado, and the Archbishop Penados. A thousand people attended the August mass. On august 1, the group first met with General Mej\'ia V\'itores [the chief of state] at which time he promised to investigate the disappearances. In ads placed in the major newspapers on August 8 and 9, GAM put his promises on the public record. Subsequently the group began to call attention to the government's failure to follow through on the August 1 promises, and they moved gradually to othet actions. In October 1984 they sponsored a march and mass for the disappeared at the cathedral -- the first mass demonstration in Guatemala since May 1, 1980 (at which time protestors were seized on the streets and an estimated one hundred were assasinated, or disappeared.)"

"The organization [GAM] continued to grow, from the initial handful to 225 families in November 1984 and then to 1,300 in the spring of 1986. Most of the members were women, a large majority peasant women from the countryside. They were persistent. After initial petitions, requests, meetings, and marches, they began to make explicit accusations and 'publicly charge elements of the national security forces as directly responsible for the capture and subsequent disappearance of our family members.' They asked for an investigation, an accounting, and justice. They appealed to the constituent assembly and began regular protests in downtown Guatemala City, banging pots and pans and, on occasion, peacefully occupying buildings."

"Nothing, of course, was done in response to the GAM demands. The assembly had no powers anyway, but was too fearful even to pass a resolution of support. The military rulers toyed with GAM. In public, with the press on hand, Mej\'ia V\'itores would say, `I don't want to shirk responsibilities and something has to be done.' But when the press was not there he said, `It seems as though you are accusing me -- and we don't have them [the disappeared].' `You have them,' we said. `We don't have them,' he replied. The military rulers were getting annoyed, and phone threats, letters of warning and open surveillance intensified. Two days after the exchange between Mej\'ia V\'itores and GAM, the tortured bodies of two disappeared associated with GAM members showed up, one placed in front of his house with his eyes gouged out and his face barely recognizable. "

" In a television interview on March 14, 1985, Mej\'ia V\'itores said that GAM was `being used by subversion, because if they have problems, solutions are being found, and they have been given every advantage to [solve these problems].' A spate of newspaper headlines followed, stressing government warnings and allegations that GAM was being manipulated by subversives. In mid-March, General Mej\'ia V\'itore was asked on television what action the government would take against GAM. He replied, `You'll know it when you see it.' "

"On March 30, 1985, GAM leader Hector Gomez Calito was seized, tortured, and murdered. (The six policemen who had come for him were themselves assassinated shortly after his death.) He had been burned with a blowtorch, on the stomach and elsewhere, and beaten on the face so severely that his lips were swollen and his teeth were broken; his tongue had been cut out. Then, on April 4, another leader of GAM, Maria Rosario Godoy de Cuevas, her twenty-one-year-old brother, and her two-year-old son were picked up, tortured, and murdered. Her breasts had bite marks and her underclothing was bloody; her two-year-old son had had his fingernails pulled out."

Citeren John Clark <>:

On Thu, Aug 22, 2013 at 9:39 PM, Chris de Morsella <>wrote:


Fascism unlike Communism (at the level of lip service at least) never
preached a Universal Fascist state - an 1000 year Reich of one tribe over
other inferior races maybe, but that idea lacks universal appeal.

And lip service (who wouldn't want a workers paradise?) is the only reason
that today people would have far more sympathy for Senator McCarthy if he'd
gone after Neo-Nazis instead of Communists, and in general lip service is
the one and only reason Communism has always seemed more respectable than
Nazism even though it has caused at least as much misery in the world. In
the 30's Stalin murdered millions of his own people and in the 20's Lenin
forced people to abandon their private farms and go to huge corrupt
monumentally inefficient collective farms with the result that millions
died of starvation;  In the 50's Mao did the exact same stupid thing in
China in the name of communism and at least 30 million starved to death. In
the 70's in Cambodia the communists murdered a greater percentage of their
population than any regime in the history of the world. In the 90's in
North Korea, a nightmare country as bad as anything George Orwell could
dream up, communism caused two million to starve to death while South
Korea, a country with the same culture and language but without communism
became a world economic powerhouse.

And yes half a century ago the CIA over through some 2 bit leaders in Chile
and Iran, big deal.

 John K Clark

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