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[url=http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/05/201351022581616808.html]G... ex-ruler found guilty of genocide[/url]
[quote]A Guatemalan court has convicted former ruler Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, sentencing him to 80 years in prison.
A three-judge tribunal on Friday issued the verdict after the nearly two-month trial in which dozens of victims testified about horrific atrocities.[/quote]
Well it's about time. He's 86 and lived most of his life in peace and comfort. And the country whose state department officials aided and abetted his crimes have placed themselves above international law.
Never too late to admit crimes against humanity, though. Thousands of survivors of JEM's U.S.-backed military dictatorship might want the bastard lined-up against a a cement wall, shot and pissed on at dawn. And without so much as a blindfold or cigarette.
You mean Rios Montt didn't get a "bum rap"?
Democracy Now has an excellent podcast, entitled Ríos Montt Guilty of Genocide: Are Guatemalan President Pérez Molina, U.S. Officials Next?, on what may happen next and the backlash and death threats by the ruling oligarchy that are already occurring, as well as information on the American connections. There is a full transcript of the interview at the website also. The section on Rios Montt starts at 13:17.
The judge in the case has instructed prosecutors to launch an immediate investigation of "all others" connected to the crimes. Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was among those implicated during the trial’s testimony after having served as a regional commander under Ríos Montt’s regime. We’re joined by investigative reporter Allan Nairn, who returned to Guatemala to cover the trial after reporting on the massacres extensively in the early 1980s. During a CNN interview in which he denied that a genocide took place, Pérez Molina was confronted with statements he gave to Nairn confirming his role in the Ixil killings three decades ago. "This was a breakthrough for indigenous people against racism and a breakthrough for human civilization," Nairn says of the verdict, which he adds could have major implications for Washington. "The judge’s order to further investigate everyone involved in Ríos Montt’s crimes could encompass U.S. officials [who] were direct accessories to and accomplices to the Guatemalan military. They were supplying money, weapons, political support, intelligence. Under international and Guatemalan law,
Friendly dictator number nine
[quote]President Reagan claimed Mont was given "a bum rap" by human rights groups, and that he was cleaning up problems inherited from his predecessor, General Romeo Lucas Garcia. Ironically, Garcia had given $500,000 to Reagan's 1980 campaign, and his henchman, Mario Sandoval Alarcon, the "Godfather" of Central American death squads, was a guest at Reagan's first inaugural celebration. Sandoval proudly calls his National Liberation Movement "the party of organized violence."Mont simply moved Garcia's dirty war from urban centers to the countryside "where the spirit of the Lord" guided him against "communist subversives", mostly indigenous Indians. As many as 10,000 Indians were killed and over 100,000 fled to Mexico as a result of Mont's "Christian" campaign.[/quote]
Guatemala, Ríos Montt and the infamous School of the Americas still in business
[quote]Horrific as Ríos Montt’s crimes are, we should bear in mind that his policies were fundamentally in line with those of the Guatemalan officials running the country both before and after his term in office, as well as in close conformity with Washington’s longstanding goals for the region. During World War II, U.S. State Department planners wrote frankly of the “problem,” as they saw it, with “the other American republics,” which were “manifesting an increasingly strong spirit of independence and jealous insistence on complete sovereignty.” This nuisance presented difficulties in light of, say, Washington’s efforts to ensure it would be granted “long-term rights for the use…of certain naval and air bases in the other American republics,” and its wish “to maintain the economies” of Latin American nations in accordance with its principles—“quite apart from equity, it is to the selfish interest of the United States” to do so, planners emphasized.[/quote]
And where are the usuals referring to everything and anything unAmerican as 'conspiracy theory'? Hello? Anyone? Anyone at all?
Fidel, please don't try to bait people into a battle, even if you do include a smile face
Fidel Rizzo: I'm walking here! I'm walking here! And don't wink at me, youre makin me laff damnit.
This is good news. He was tried by his own people in his own country and not in the far away Hague by some anonymous "judges" of the so-called International Criminal Court which of course tries only Africans and costs over $100 million a year for 600+ well-paid mostly Westerners. Cy Gonick of Cdn Dimensions published my article on the ICC
My article on the ICC is Here
Sorry, its at www.web.ncf.ca/aw916. Humanist Perspectives also published it
Neither of those links appear to be working, sir.
Yes it is good news. However, the infamous School of the Americas of which JERM was a graduate of is stil in business. Obama has not only refused to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay gulags, he and his cosmetic government refuse to shutdown the evil School of Americas aka university of terrorism while pumping even more military aid and weapons to Latin Amerca's militaries.
Thanks, Fidel. Of course Montt was trained by the USA who supported the coup against Arbenz in the 50's. Clinton did apologize.
My ariticle, ICC-Global Injustice, which Cy Gonick accepted for Canadian Dimension is, I hope, at http://web.ncf.ca/aw916.
NY Times: [url=http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/world/americas/guatemalas-highest-cour... Court Overturns Genocide Conviction of Ex-Dictator[/url]
They decide the appeal 10 days after the conviction? What a joke.
Reinventing Guatemalan History - by Stephen Lendman
"History reinventors support despots."
"She[Mary O'Grady WSJ columnist on Latin America] claimed testimonies of survivors and prosecution experts didn't prove genocide. "The absurdity of this has not been lost on many Guatemalans," she said. "Ixil people and others from the regionâ€¦viewâ€¦Montt as a hero," she claimed. Some hero! Over 70,000 corpses on his watch prove otherwise. So do around 200,000 throughout decades of conflict.
Sickening. And U.S. governments supported the genocidal fascist regimes with financial aid, weapons, and training for right wing death squads there at the infamous school of the Americas. They slaughtered over 200, 000 Guatemalans the majority of them indigenous people. This was U.S. imperialism at its most racist and genocidal right here in this very hemisphere at a time lapdog newzies published scathing attacks on East Germans who ordered shootings of a few thousand other Germans for climbing over a wall - a wall few people in the west understand even today why it was built.
The president and other members of the elite involved in the genocide are trying to protect their own asses by overturning the conviction of Rios Montt. They also had Rios Montt moved to a miiitary hospital after only three days in prison (another article says he spent only one day in prison).
The judge in the case has instructed prosecutors to launch an immediate investigation of "all others" connected to the crimes. Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina was among those implicated during the trial’s testimony after having served as a regional commander under Ríos Montt’s regime.
Rios Montt's lawyers immediately filed an appeal, and he spent three days in prison before he was moved to a military hospital, where he remains.
This article discusses how the confiscation of land and the means to survive by agribusiness is leading to a different form of genocide than that practised by Rios Montt, but genocide nevertheless. Its done by the same elite behind Rios Montt's genocide and overturned conviction.
In a historic decision this May, Guatemala’s Supreme Court of Justice sentenced former dictator General Ríos Montt to 80 years in prison for the genocidal massacres of indigenous people in the 1980s. Many Guatemalans hoped that the judicial process against the top criminals of the country’s “dirty war” would finally bring justice—but ten days after the decision, the Constitutional Court reversed the judgment.
But while the Guatemalan people protest this violation of the rule of law, the processes of genocide initiated 30 years ago by Ríos Montt’s massacres continue today by other means.
In the last decade, the expansion of oil palm plantations and sugarcane production for ethanol in northern Guatemala has displaced hundreds of Maya-Q´eqchi´ peasant families, increasing poverty, hunger, unemployment and landlessness in the region, according to a new Food First report by Alberto Alfonso-Fradejas, “Sons and Daughters of the Earth: Indigenous Communities and Land Grabs in Guatemala.”
There is a tremendous contradiction here: at the same time that the ex-General Ríos Montt is convicted for genocide, the Guatemalan government allows the oligarchy, allied with extractive industries, to displace entire populations without any care for the human cost; and in many cases, these land grabs result in the murder and imprisonment of rural people who resist the assault. The genocide against the indigenous peasant population in Guatemala no longer has the face of a military dictatorship supported by the United States—now it is the corporations, the oligarchy and the World Bank who push peasants off their lands.
In today’s Guatemala, land and resource control is increasingly in the hands of a small oligarchy of powerful families allied with agri-food companies. At the center of this power are: fourteen families who control the country’s sugarcane-producing companies (AZAZGUA); five companies controlling the national production of ethanol; eight families that control the production of palm oil (GREPALMA); and members of the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, and Financial Associations (CACIF). Together these powerbrokers are accumulating land and wealth with the support of investment from international institutions such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE). The convergence of multiple global crises—finance, energy, food and environment—has directed corporate investment into land-based resources such as agrofuels, minerals, pasture and food. The situation in Guatemala is extremely violent, due to the global trend in which agrarian, financial and industrial interests are grabbing control of peasant lands and resources.
In many ways, land grabbing is a new form of genocide. Ricardo Falla’s study “What Do You Mean There Was No Genocide?” analyzes the definition of genocide and its characteristics. According to Falla, of the five acts that define genocide, two were most prominent in Guatemala: “the massacre of the members of a group,” and “the intentional subjection of a group to living conditions which will lead to their total or partial physical destruction.” The first genocide was against the Ixil peoples during the reign of Ríos Montt. The second genocide is enacted today through the privation of the Q´eqchi´ peoples’ means of survival through land grabs. Hundreds of families have been displaced; they do not have land on which to produce food or live, and they are denied their cultural and community identity. These conditions undermine their ability to survive, and lead to their displacement, and in many cases death. ...
Another former Guatemalan president, Alfonso Portillo, was quickly extradited to the US by Guatemalan authorities within days of the overturning of the Rios Montt conviction. Portillo was far being from being a saint. In fact he was a political opportunist of the worst kind. He has admitted shooting two students (in self defence according to him) while a professor in Mexico. He switched from the Social Democratic Party to the Christian Democrats and then became an independent. Then he join Rios Montt's party and was elected president as its party's candidate. At the end of his term in office he "backed former dictator Rios Montt to succeed himself". His government was "accused of bringing corruption on an unprecedented scale to the country", but not the genocide of Rios Montt. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfonso_Portillo)
Guatemala extradited former president Alfonso Portillo to the United States to face charges of laundering $70 million of swindled government funds through US banks. ...
The ex-president was picked up unannounced from a military hospital in Guatemala City, where he had been convalescing in recent weeks, and rushed to the Air Force base under heavy protection.
Portillo was flown “in a hospital airplane equipped with cardiac and respiratory equipment,” the US Embassy said in a statement, adding that the plane crew included a doctor, a nurse and a respiratory therapist.
Washington welcomed the extradition as “an important affirmation of the rule of law and due process in Guatemala.”
“We commend the commitment of Guatemalan authorities to strengthen the rule of law and combat organized crime and corruption,” William Ostick, a US State Department spokesman, told AFP. ...
Mario Estrada, a losing candidate in the 2011 presidential election, stood with other Portillo supporters outside the air base to protest the extradition.
“What they did was inhuman because the former president’s life was put at risk,” Estrada said. “They kidnapped him from the hospital to take him away.”
“The decision to extradite Portillo, though welcome, has to be seen as an attempt to divert international attention away from the Constitutional Court’s overturning of the Ríos Montt verdict,” said Anita J. Isaacs, a professor at Haverford College who studies Guatemala.
Mr. Portillo, she added, had few friends among the ruling elite, unlike General Ríos Montt, so sending him to the United States “is a very small price to pay.”
I have no sympathy for Alfonso Portillo, but the US commendation of the Guatemalan justice system just days after it overturns the conviction of Rios Montt for genocide because, at the same time, it has extradited a corrupt politician to the US for bank fraud tells you all you need to know about US and Guatemalan justice.