Guatemalan Civil War

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Guatemalan Civil War
Part of Central American crisis
Rabinal cross.jpg
Cemetery in Rabinal
Date 1960–1996
Location Guatemala
Result Peace accord signed in 1996
22x20px URNG:

Supported by
Cuba Cuba[1]
Nicaragua Nicaragua (from 1979 until 1990)

Guatemala Guatemalan Army

Supported by
United States United States[2]
Israel Israel[3]

Commanders and leaders
22x20px Luis Augusto Turcios Lima
22x20px Rolando Morán
22x20px Marco Antonio Yon Sosa  
22x20px Leonardo Castillo Johnson
Guatemala Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes
Guatemala Enrique Peralta Azurdia
Guatemala Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio
Guatemala Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García
Guatemala Fernando Romeo Lucas García
Guatemala Efraín Ríos Montt
Guatemala Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores
Casualties and losses
140,000–200,000 dead and missing[4][5][6][7]

The Guatemalan Civil War ran from 1960 to 1996. It was mostly fought between the government of Guatemala and various leftist rebel groups mainly supported by Maya indigenous people and poor peasants. The armed forces of Guatemala has been condemned for committing genocide against the Maya people during the the civil war. The Historical Clarification Commission reports that the influence of the Guatemalan military over the government occurred in different stages during the years of the civil war. Because it dominated the executive branch of the civil government during the 1960s and the 1970s, the military infiltrated every institution of Guatemalan national government and civil society. Subsequently, during the 1980s, the Guatemalan military assumed almost absolute government power for five years, having successfully infiltrated and eliminated enemies in every socio-political institution of the nation, including the political, social, and ideological classes. In the final stage of the civil war, the military developed a parallel, semi-visible, low profile, but high-impact, control of Guatemala's national life. In the military, itself, the Guatemalan Military Intelligence system became the force with which it exercised totalitarian control of the town and country populaces, the urban society, the State, and the armed forces, themselves; dictatorship was total, but subtle.[8]

40,000 to 50,000 people disappeared during the war and up to 200,000 were killed or missing. Felipe Cusanero became the first person to be sentenced for this in 2009 when he received a 150-year jail term, 25 years for each of his six missing victims. This was hailed a landmark prison sentence in Guatemala.


In 1944, the "October Revolutionaries" took control of the government. They instituted liberal economic reform, benefiting and politically strengthening the civil and labor rights of the urban working class and the peasants. Elsewhere, a group of leftist students, professionals, and liberal-democratic government coalitions were led by Juan José Arévalo and Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán.

As a consequence, the U.S. government ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to launch Operation PBSUCCESS (1953–54) and halt Guatemala's “communist revolt", as perceived by the corporate fruit companies such as United Fruit and the U.S. State Department. The CIA chose right-wing Guatemalan Army Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas to lead an "insurrection" in the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état. Upon deposing the Árbenz Guzmán government, Castillo Armas began to dissolve a decade of social and economic reform and legislative progress, and banned labor unions and left-wing political parties, a disenfranchisement that radicalized left-wing Guatemalans.[9]

A series of military coups d’état followed, featuring fraudulent elections selecting only military personnel as possible candidates. Aggravating the general poverty and political repression motivating the civil war was the socio-economic discrimination and racism practiced against the Guatemala's indigenous peoples, such as the Maya; many later fought in the civil war. Although the dark-skinned native Guatemalans constitute more than half of the national populace, they are landless, whilst the landlord upper classes of the oligarchy, white-skinned descendants of European immigrants to Guatemala, controlled most of the land.[10]

First phase of the Civil War

The first phase of the Guatemalan Civil War was the 1960s insurrection by the urban Guatemalan Labour Party (Partido Guatemalteco del Trabajo – PGT) composed and led by middle-class intellectuals and students; the Guatemalan military easily defeated such urban guerrillas in combat, given its U.S. training and CIA advisors.

Afterwards, on 13 November 1960, a group of left-wing junior military officers of the Escuela Politécnica national military academy, revolted against the autocratic government (1958–63) of General Ydigoras Fuentes, who usurped power in 1958, after the assassination of the incumbent Colonel Castillo Armas. The survivors of the failed revolt hid in the hills, and later established communication with the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. Those surviving officers then established the Movimiento Revolucionario 13 Noviembre (MR-13) whose insurgent forces fought a thirty-six-year guerrilla war against the right-wing military government who had usurped Guatemala; the 13 November Revolutionary Movement was named after the date of the officers’ revolt.[11] The operational base of MR-13 was the mountainous Oriente (East), the southeastern region of the country, comprising Izabal, Puerto Barrios, and Zacapa. The U.S. Government sent Green Beret military advisors to instruct the Guatemalan military in counterinsurgency (anti-guerrilla warfare), to fight MR-13.

In November 1965, U.S. security adviser John P. Longan arrived in Guatemala and with a Guatemalan Army élite launched Operation Cleanup, a death squad that conducted kidnappings and assassinations throughout 1966, constituting “the first systematic wave of collective counterinsurgent ‘disappearances’ in Latin America” that killed the leaders of Guatemala's labour unions and peasant federations during Árbenz Guzmán Government.[12] In 1966, soon after President Julio César Méndez Montenegro (1966–70) assumed office, the Guatemalan Army launched a counter-insurgency campaign that successfully combated and dispersed the left-wing guerrilla organizations fighting in the mountains and countryside. The guerrillas, including the Rebel Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes – FAR), then concentrated their attacks in Guatemala City, assassinating many leading representatives of the military government, U.S. military advisors, and the American ambassador John Gordon Mein, in 1968.

The third phase warfare of the Guatemalan Civil War was the 1970s, when old and new insurgent organizations joined and fought in the urban and rural fronts, especially in the Mayan Highlands, against a government which was led by the military--a feature that was then common to many Central American countries.

Burning of the Spanish Embassy

On the morning of 31 January 1980, a group of K'iche' and Ixil peasant farmers occupied the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City to protest the kidnapping and murder of peasants in Uspantán by elements of the Guatemalan Army. The subsequent police raid, over the protests of the Spanish ambassador, resulted in a fire which destroyed the embassy and left 36 people dead. Spain severed its diplomatic relations with Guatemala for four years. The funeral of the victims (including as yet obscure Rigoberta Menchú's father, Vicente Menchú), attracted hundreds of thousands of mourners, and a new guerrilla group was formed commemorating the date, the Frente patriotico 31 de enero (Patriotic Front of 31 January). The incident has been called "the defining event" of the Guatemalan Civil War.[13]

Resumption of democracy

Ríos Montt was deposed on 8 August 1983 by his Minister of Defense, General Óscar Humberto Mejía Victores. Mejía became de facto president and justified the coup, saying that "religious fanatics" were abusing their positions in the government and also because of "official corruption". Ríos Montt remained in politics, founded the Guatemalan Republican Front party, and was elected President of Congress in 1995 and 2000.[11]

In 1983, indigenous activist Rigoberta Menchú wrote a testimonial account, I, Rigoberta Menchú, An Indian Woman in Guatemala, which gained worldwide attention. She was later awarded the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in favor of broader social justice. In 1998 a book by U.S. anthropologist David Stoll challenged some of the details in Menchú's book, creating an international controversy.[14]

Cerezo Administration: new constitution, but continued violence

General Mejía allowed a return to democracy in Guatemala. On 1 July 1984 there was an election for a Constituent Assembly to draft a democratic constitution. On 30 May 1985 the Constituent Assembly finished drafting a new constitution, which took effect immediately. Vinicio Cerezo, a civilian politician and the presidential candidate of the Guatemalan Christian Democracy, won the first election held under the new constitution with almost 70% of the vote, and took office on 14 January 1986. It took another 10 years of conflict, however, before the violence drew to an end.[11]

Historian Susanne Jonas writes that while "the Reagan State Department cheerfully proclaimed Guatemala a "consolidated"/"post-transitional" democracy after nothing more than the 1985 election. More sober academic analysts attempting to include Guatemala in the "democratic family" had to resort to inventing new categories of democracy (restricted, pseudo-, "tutelada," "facade," "democradura," etc.). Jonas claims that "for the most part from 1986 through 1995, civilian presidents allowed the army to rule from behind the scenes."[15] Elections, however, were deemed to be free and fair- a notable improvement on the military-dominated governments of the previous 30 years.

Upon its inauguration in January 1986, President Cerezo's civilian government announced that its top priorities would be to end the political violence and establish the rule of law. Reforms included new laws of habeas corpus and amparo (court-ordered protection), the creation of a legislative human rights committee, and the establishment in 1987 of the Office of Human Rights Ombudsman. The Supreme Court also embarked on a series of reforms to fight corruption and improve legal system efficiency.

With Cerezo's election, the military moved away from governing and returned to the more traditional role of providing internal security, specifically by fighting armed insurgents. The first two years of Cerezo's administration were characterized by a stable economy and a marked decrease in political violence. Dissatisfied military personnel made two coup attempts in May 1988 and May 1989, but military leadership supported the constitutional order. The government was heavily criticized for its unwillingness to investigate or prosecute cases of human rights violations.

The final two years of Cerezo's government also were marked by a failing economy, strikes, protest marches, and allegations of widespread corruption. The government's inability to deal with many of the nation's problems – such as infant mortality, illiteracy, deficient health and social services, and rising levels of violence – contributed to popular discontent.

Presidential and congressional elections were held on 11 November 1990. After the second-round ballot, Jorge Antonio Serrano Elías was inaugurated on 14 January 1991, thus completing the first transition from one democratically elected civilian government to another. Because his Movement of Solidarity Action (MAS) Party gained only 18 of 116 seats in Congress, Serrano entered into a tenuous alliance with the Christian Democrats and the National Union of the Center (UCN).

The Serrano administration's record was mixed. It had some success in consolidating civilian control over the army, replacing a number of senior officers and persuading the military to participate in peace talks with the URNG. He took the politically unpopular step of recognizing the sovereignty of Belize, which until then had been officially, though fruitlessly, claimed by Guatemala. The Serrano government reversed the economic slide it inherited, reducing inflation and boosting real growth.

Serrano government dissolution and recovery

On 25 May 1993, Serrano illegally dissolved Congress and the Supreme Court and tried to restrict civil freedoms, allegedly to fight corruption. The autogolpe (or autocoup) failed due to unified, strong protests by most elements of Guatemalan society, international pressure, and the army's enforcement of the decisions of the Court of Constitutionality, which ruled against the attempted takeover. In the face of this pressure, Serrano fled the country. An Intelligence Oversight Board report states that the CIA helped in stopping this autocoup.[16]

On 5 June 1993, Congress, pursuant to the 1985 constitution, elected the Human Rights Ombudsman to complete Serrano's presidential term. He was not a member of any political party; lacking a political base but with strong popular support, he launched an ambitious anticorruption campaign to "purify" Congress and the Supreme Court, demanding the resignations of all members of the two bodies. Shortly taking office, his cousin, leader of the liberal and two-time presidential candidate, was assassinated.

Despite considerable congressional resistance, presidential and popular pressure led to a November 1993 agreement brokered by the Catholic Church between the administration and Congress. This package of constitutional reforms was approved by popular referendum on 30 January 1995. In August 1994, a new Congress was elected to complete the unexpired term. Controlled by the anti-corruption parties – the populist Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) headed by Ríos Montt, and the center-right National Advancement Party (PAN) – the new Congress began to move away from the corruption that characterized its predecessors.

Renewed peace process (1994 to 1996)

Under de León, the peace process, now brokered by the United Nations, took on new life. The government and the URNG signed agreements on human rights (March 1994), resettlement of displaced persons (June 1994), historical clarification (June 1994), and indigenous rights (March 1995). They also made significant progress on a socio-economic and agrarian agreement.

National elections for president, Congress, and municipal offices were held in November 1995. With almost 20 parties competing in the first round, the presidential election came down to a 7 January 1996 run-off in which PAN candidate Álvaro Arzú Irigoyen defeated Alfonso Portillo Cabrera of the FRG by just over 2% of the vote. Arzú won because of his strength in Guatemala City, where he had previously served as mayor, and in the surrounding urban area. Portillo won all of the rural departments except Petén.

Under the Arzú administration, peace negotiations were concluded, and the government and the guerrilla umbrella organization URNG, which became a legal party, signed peace accords ending the 36-year internal conflict in December 1996. The General Secretary of the URNG, Comandante Rolando Morán, and President Álvaro Arzú jointly received the UNESCO Peace Prize for their efforts to end the civil war and attaining the peace agreement. The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1094 on 20 January 1997 deploying military observers to Guatemala to monitor the implementation of the peace agreements.


Human rights abuses

In the majority of massacres there is evidence of multiple acts of savagery..Acts such as the killing of defenceless children, often by beating them against walls or throwing them alive into pits where the corpses of adults were later thrown; the amputation of limbs; the impaling of victims; the killing of persons by covering them in petrol and burning them alive; the extraction, in the presence of others, of the viscera (internal organs) of victims who were still alive; the confinement of people who had been mortally tortured, in agony for days; the opening of the wombs of pregnant women, and other similarly atrocious acts, were not only actions of extreme cruelty against the victims, but also morally degraded the perpetrators and those who inspired, ordered or tolerated these actions.

--The Commission for Historical Clarification, 1999[17]

The roads began to stink, there were so many dead bodies.

--Juan, a churchman in Guatemala, 1985[18]

By the end of the war, it is estimated up to 200,000 people had been killed or "disappeared." The overwhelming majority of those killed were victims of official-sanctioned terror by government forces.[19]

The internal conflict is described in the report of the Archbishop's Office for Human Rights (ODHAG). ODHAG attributed almost 90.0% of the atrocities and over 400 massacres to the Guatemalan army (and paramilitary), and less than 5% of the atrocities to the guerrillas (including 16 massacres).

In a report in 1999, the UN-sponsored Historical Clarification Commission (CEH) stated that the state was responsible for 93% of the human rights violations committed during the war, the guerrillas for 3%.[20] They peaked in 1982. 83% of the victims were Maya.[21] Both sides used terror as a deliberate policy.[8]

Throughout the conflict, both military and "civilian" governments utilized death squads as a counterinsurgency strategy. The use of "death squads" as a government tactic became particularly widespread after 1966. Throughout 1966 and the first three months of 1967, within the framework of what military commentators referred to as "el-contra terror," government forces killed an estimated 8,000 civilians accused of "subversive" activity.[22] This marked a turning point in the history of the Guatemalan security apparatus, and brought about a new era in which mass murder of both real and suspected subversives by government "death squads" became a common occurrence in the country. The CEH report states that the primary targets of state terror were political activists, students, trade unionists and human rights advocates, who were all categorised as “subversives”.[23] A noted Guatemalan sociologist estimated the number of government killings between 1966 and 1974 at approximately 5,250 a year.[24] Killings by both official and unofficial security forces would climax in the late 1970s and early 1980s under the presidencies of Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcia and Efrain Rios Montt, with over 18,000 documented killings by government forces in 1982 alone.[25]

Guatemalan intelligence was directed and executed mainly by two bodies: One the Intelligence Section of the Army, subsequently called Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the National Defense and generally known as "D-2". The other the intelligence unit called Presidential Security Department, also known as "La Regional" or the "Archivo". The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has stated that the intelligence services in Guatemala have been responsible for multiple human rights violations.[26] The Truth Commission writes that their activity included the "use of illegal detention centres or 'clandestine prisons', which existed in nearly all Army facilities, in many police installations and even in homes and on other private premises. In these places, victims were not only deprived of their liberty arbitrarily, but they were almost always subjected to interrogation, accompanied by torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. In the majority of cases, the detainees disappeared or were executed."[8]

The CEH stated that at no time during the internal armed confrontation did the guerrilla groups have the military potential necessary to pose an imminent threat to the State. The number of insurgent combatants was too small to be able to compete in the military arena with the Army, which had more troops and superior weaponry, as well as better training and co-ordination. The State and the Army were well aware that the insurgents’ military capacity did not represent a real threat to Guatemala’s political order. The CEH concludes that the State deliberately magnified the military threat of the insurgency, a practice justified by the concept of the internal enemy. The inclusion of all opponents under one banner, democratic or otherwise, pacifist or guerrilla, legal or illegal, communist or non-communist, served to justify numerous and serious crimes. Faced with widespread political, socio-economic and cultural opposition, the State resorted to military operations directed towards the physical annihilation or absolute intimidation of this opposition, through a plan of repression carried out mainly by the Army and national security forces. On this basis the CEH explains why the vast majority of the victims of the acts committed by the State were not combatants in guerrilla groups, but civilians.[8]

For more than two decades Human Rights Watch has reported on Guatemala.[27] A report from 1984 discussed “the murder of thousands by a military government that maintains its authority by terror.[28] HRW have described extraordinarily cruel actions by the armed forces, mostly against unarmed civilians.[27] One example given is the massacre of over 160 civilians by government soldiers in the village of Las Dos Erres in 1982. The abuses included “burying some alive in the village well, killing infants by slamming their heads against walls, keeping young women alive to be raped over the course of three days. This was not an isolated incident. Rather it was one of over 400 massacres documented by the truth commission – some of which, according to the commission, constituted "acts of genocide."[27]

Guatemalan Armed Forces' documents show that Guatemalan dictator Ríos Montt layed the foundation for the military plans Victoria 82, Firmeza 83, and Plan Sofia in which the military used counterinsurgency operations to "exterminate the subversive elements in the area - Quiché"[29] for which the UN-sponsored Commission for Historical Clarification determined were "acts of genocide against groups of Mayan people." Mostly the elderly, woman and children.


In 1999, paramilitary Candido Noriega was sentenced to 50 years for his role in the deaths of dozens whilst employed by the Guatemalan army.[30]

In August 2009, a court in Chimaltenango sentenced Felipe Cusanero, a local farmer, who was part of a network of paramilitaries who gave information about suspected leftists living in their villages to the army during Guatemala's counterinsurgency campaign, to 150 years in prison for his part in the disappearance of half a dozen indigenous members of a Mayan farming community over the two-year period of 1982–1984.[30][31][32] He was the first person to ever be convicted for carrying out acts of forced disappearance during the Civil War.[31][32][33] He appeared before three judges to face his sentence.[33] He received a 25-year prison sentence for each of his victims.[30][31] It was hailed as a "landmark" sentence.[30][31][32] Hilarion López, the father of one of the victims, said: "We weren't looking for vengeance but for the truth and justice".[31][33] The families have called on Cusanero to tell them where their bodies are.[30] Cusanero was photographed being carried away by police afterwards.[30] By August, 2011, four former officers from the Guatemalan Special Forces (Kaibiles) were sentenced to 6,060 years in prison each for their involvement in the Dos Erres Massacre.[34] In March, 2011, a fifth former soldier, Pedro Pimentel Rios, was also sentenced to 6,060 years (after having been extradited from the United States) for his role in Dos Erres.[35]

Involvement of the USA and allies


The political instability now trident in Latin America results from serious disturbance of the traditional social order by new economic and social forces. The principal political trend in Latin America is toward nationalistic regimes maintained in large part by demagogic appeal to the depressed masses of the population. The pressures of social unrest and nationalism make it difficult for Latin American governments to render on all occasions the degree of diplomatic or economic support desired by the United States. With the exception of Argentina and Guatemala, they have been reasonably cooperative in the hemisphere. Generally, however, they have not implemented effectively their economic and military undertakings.

Latin America has traditionally served as supplier of raw materials and foodstuffs to the highly industrialised countries of North America and Europe, and has depended on those countries for nearly all of its requirements of manufactured products. The Latin Americans, however, are no longer willing to accept what they describe as colonial economic status. They seek greater degree of economic independance and stability through such measures as protective tariffs, exchange restrictions, export controls, and government sponsored industrialization.

Eventually the trend toward nationalism, if it continues, will seriously affect Hemisphere solidarity and US security interests in Latin America. Latin American strategic raw materials will continue to be available, although the governments concerned will seek to drive hard bargains in terms of prices and concessions.[36]

The underdeveloped world's growing dissatisfaction over the gap between rich and poor nations will create a fertile breeding ground for insurgencies. These insurgencies have the potential to jeopardize regional stability and our access to vital economic and military resources. This situation will become critical as our Nation and allies and potential adversaries become more and more dependent on these strategic resources.

Our superpower political and military status is dependent upon our ability to maintain the economic base derived from our ability to compete in established and developing economic markets throughout the world. If we are to maintain this status, we must have unimpeded access to these markets and to the resources needed to support our manufacturing requirements.

--U.S. General Alfred M. Gray, Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps (1987-91)[37]

In 1961, the U.S. government began aiding domestic repression in Latin America. In that year, under pressure from the Pentagon, the Latin American military role was changed from "hemispheric defense" to "internal security"; U.S. assistance programs were retooled to strengthen the hold of the local military forces over there own people. For 20 years, the Pentagon has lavished training and equipment on the Latin American military, both at bases in the United States and at the U.S. Army School of the Americas in the former Panama Canal Zone.

Under guise of "civic action" programs, Latin American officers have been encouraged to meddle in government and civillian affairs. There has been little screening to weed out the drug racketeers and war criminals, and no indoctrination in civilized standards of warfare. Senior officers indistinguishable from the war criminals hanged at Nuremberg after World War II have passed through the Inter- American Defense College in Washington. Neither in training programs nor thereafter does the Pentagon insist on compliance with the Geneva conventions regarding humane treatment of prisoners and non combatants. Equipment is given without strings.

For the United States, which lead the crusade against Nazi evil, to support the methods of Heinrich Himmler's extermination squads is an outrage.

-- Charles Maechling Jr., who led counterinsurgency and internal-defense planning for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson while in the State Department from 1961 to 1966.[38][39]

Initially, the U.S. perceived no political or economic threat from the election of President Árbenz Guzmán, because he appeared to have “no real sympathy for the lower classes”.[40] But shortly after he was elected President he continued the program of the the Arevalo government, which "favorably disposed initially toward the United States, was modeled in many ways after the Roosevelt New Deal."[41] When the successful reforms began to threaten "stability" in neighboring countries where suffering people did not fail to take notice, the Inter-American Affairs Bureau officer Charles R. Burrows, of the U.S. State Department, warned: "Guatemala has become an increasing threat to the stability of Honduras and El Salvador. Its agrarian reform is a powerful propaganda weapon; its broad social program of aiding the workers and peasants in a victorious struggle against the upper classes and large foreign enterprises has a strong appeal to the populations of Central American neighbors where similar conditions prevail." Central America was small, with porous borders, so news traveled fast. "It was impossible to escape the contagion," asserted right wing journalist Clemente Marroquín Rojas as the May 1954 strike paralyzed the north coast of Honduras, while from El Salvador, President Osorio sent a message of fear. His country, he warned, "would be next on the list."[42][43]

However, in the geopolitical context of the U.S.–U.S.S.R. Cold War (1945–1991), the secret intelligence agencies of the U.S. deemed such liberal land-reform nationalization to be government communism instigated by the U.S.S.R. The intelligence analyses led CIA director Allen Dulles to fear that the Republic of Guatemala would become a “Soviet beachhead in the Western Hemisphere”, the “back yard” of U.S. hegemony.[44]

The Guatemalan coup d'état began with Operation PBFORTUNE (September 1952), the partly implemented plan to supply exiled, right-wing, anti–Árbenz rebel groups with operational funds and matériel, to form a counter-revolutionary “army of liberation” to depose the Árbenz Government. The Guatemalan paramilitary invasion was contingent upon U.S. intelligence confirmation that President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán was a Communist. Two years later, in June 1954, Operation PBSUCCESS realised the coup d'état, and installed Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas as President of Guatemala. Afterwards followed Operation PBHISTORY (July 1954), with the intelligence-gathering remit to find and publish evidence (government and communist-party documents) to try to confirm the analysis of the CIA: that under the Árbenz Government, Guatemala was a pro-Communist puppet state of the U.S.S.R. However they found little evidence of this.[45] The coup d’état installed lead usurper Colonel Castillo Armas as head of government, and then he and “the United States began to militarize Guatemala almost immediately, financing and reorganizing the police and military.”[46]

Among the documents found in the training files of Operation PBSUCCESS and declassified by the Agency is a "Study of Assassination." A how-to guide book in the art of political killing, the 19-page manual offers detailed descriptions of the procedures, instruments, and implementation of assassination. "The simplest local tools are often much the most efficient means of assassination," counsels the study. "A hammer, axe, wrench, screw driver, fire poker, kitchen knife, lamp stand, or anything hard, heavy and handy will suffice." For an assassin using "edge weapons," the manual notes in cold clinical terms, "puncture wounds of the body cavity may not be reliable unless the heart is reached....Absolute reliability is obtained by severing the spinal cord in the cervical region." The manual also notes that to provide plausible denial, "no assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded." Murder, the drafters state, "is not morally justifiable," and "persons who are morally squeamish should not attempt it." In Guatemala, of course, "Operation Success" had a deadly aftermath. After a small insurgency developed in the wake of the coup, Guatemala's military leaders developed and refined, with U.S. assistance, a massive counterinsurgency campaign that left tens of thousands massacred, maimed or missing.[47]

General Robert Porter, Commander in Chief, United States Southern Command, told Congress in 1968 that United States military assistance and AID public safety projects in Latin America were "an insurance policy protecting our vast private investment in an area of tremendous trade and strategic value to our country."[48]

In the "Rockefeller report on Latin America," the National Security Council warned: "If the United States cannot maintain a constructive relationship in the Western Hemisphere, we will hardly be able to achieve a successful order elsewhere in the world."[49] As National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger put it: "If we cannot manage Central America, it will be impossible to convince threatened nations in the Persian Gulf and in other places that we know how to manage the Global Equilibrium."[50] -U.S. "credibility" would be undermined in it's third world domains around the world, particularly the oil producing region of the Middle East which includes vital US client states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran under the Shah.

The U.S. Army School of the Americas placed great weight on ideological conditioning and "steeped young Latin American officers in the early-1950-era anti-Communist dogma that subversive infiltrators could be anywhere."[51] On the lessons taught, U.S. Army Major Joseph Blair, a former director of instruction at the school who served from 1986-89, said: "The doctrine that was tought was that if you want information you use physical abuse, you use false imprisonment, you use threats to family members, you use virtually any method necessary to get what you want...[including torture] and killing. If there's someone you dont want you kill them. If you cant get the information you want, if you cant get that person to shut up or to stop what they're doing you simply assassinate them, and you assassinate them with one of your death squads."[52]

Under US government aid programs (USAID), "public safety missions" organized, trained, armed, financed and advised local police forces in Latin America as standing death squads. The U.S. State Department instructed it's security forces: "The police will normally be those who first sense internal order problems and first detect discontent among people. They are the eyes and ears of the government and should serve as one of the major means by which the government assures itself of acceptance by the majority.[53] Effective policing is like 'preventive medicine.' The police can deal with threats to internal order in their formative states. Should they not be prepared to do this, 'major surgery' may be required in the sense that considerable force would be needed to redress those threats."[54]

Guatemalan specialist Susanne Jonas has alleged that U.S. Special Forces set up a secret military training base in 1962, and that the program became massive after Julio César Méndez Montenegro signed a pact with the army in July 1966. Accordingly, "although it was categorically denied by official U.S. sources, the presence of U.S. Green Berets (estimates ranged from several hundred to 1,000) was documented by careful observers and even acknowledged by a high Guatemalan police officialWho?." Jonas claims that the ratio of military advisers to local military officials in Guatemala was the highest of any Latin American country in the late 1960s and 70s, and moreover that "there is substantial evidence of the direct role of U.S. military advisers in the formation of death squads: U.S. Embassy personnel were allegedly involved in writing an August 1966 memorandum outlining the creation of paramilitary groups, and the U.S. military attaché during this period publicly claimed credit for instigating their formation as part of "counterterror" operations."[55]

McSherry alleges that after a successful (U.S. backed) coup against president Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes in 1963, U.S. advisors began to work with Colonel Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio to defeat the guerrillas, borrowing “extensively from current counterinsurgency strategies and technology being employed in Vietnam.” Between the years of 1966–68 alone some 8,000 peasants were murdered by the U.S. trained forces of Colonel Arana Osorio.[56] Sociologist Jeffrey M. Paige alleges that Arana Osorio "earned the nickname "The Butcher of Zacapa" for killing 15,000 peasants to eliminate 300 suspected rebels."[57]

In 1977, the Carter administration announced a suspension of military aid to Guatemala, citing the Guatemalan government as a "gross and consistent human rights violator" while noting that the situation was improving under the administration of president Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García. Despite this prohibition however, covert and overt US support for the Guatemalan army continued. In fiscal years 1978, 1979 and 1980 (the three years for which the Carter administration can be held responsible), the US delivered approximately $8.5 million in direct military assistance to Guatemala, mostly Foreign Military Sales credits, as well as export licensing for commercial arms sales worth $1.8 million, a rate which differs very little from that of the Nixon-Ford Administrations.[58] The CIA also served as a channel for US military support to Guatemala during this period. In 1981, the Reagan administration approved a $2 million covert CIA program for Guatemala.[59] In April 1982 (one month after Efrain Rios Montt took power) CIA operations expanded to $42.5 million.[60]

In fiscal years 1981, 1982 and 1983, overt US military aid deliveries totaled $3.2 million, $4 million and $6.36 million respectively; a combined total of approximately $13.54 million (shipments included vital overhauls for previously acquired Bell UH-1 helicopters and A-37 counterinsurgency aircraft).[61] These official figures on military aid during this period do not take into account the transshipment of aircraft spare parts and other military equipment between the US and Guatemalan militaries. Nor do these figures account for the US$20 million sale of two Lockheed-built C-130 transport planes or the US$25 million delivery of dual-use helicopters to the Guatemalan military between December 1980 and December 1982 (which shared interchangeable parts with previously acquired units), delivered primarily under contracts licensed by the US Department of Commerce.[62] In addition, the United States authorized the provision of American-made equipment through third party sources, mainly Israel and Argentina. General Rodolfo Lobos Zamora, a leading military official during the conflict, mentioned the United States, Israel, and Argentina as countries that "spontaneously" offered military aid to the dictatorship.[63]

Israel, like the United States, was an arms supplier to Guatemala during the civil war in the 1970s, with its first officially acknowledged arms shipments taking place in 1974 and continuing throughout the duration of the conflict.[64] By 1983, the New York Times reported that Israel was not only acting as a surrogate for the United States (in a similar fashion to its actions in Nicaragua), but also working to oppose the Soviet Union and grow the market for Israeli arms.[65] Prominent Israeli arms deliveries to Guatemala consisted of 15,000 Galil automatic rifles (delivered from 1974 to 1977[66]; sources suggest that these were sold at a 300% mark-up[67]), IMI Uzi submachine guns, up to 1,000 FN MAG general purpose machine guns[68], 17 IAI Arava STOL aircraft (delivered from 1976 to 1978)[69], as well as 10 RBY MK 1 armored cars, 3 patrol boats, 5 field kitchens, and large quantities of ammunition. Israel also provided intelligence and operational training. In 1982, Efraín Ríos Montt told ABC News that his success was due to the fact that "our soldiers were trained by Israelis", and in 1981 the chief of staff of the Guatemalan army said that the "Israeli soldier is the model for our soldiers". There was not much outcry in Israel at the time about its involvement in Guatemala, though the support was not a secret.[70] Despite public praise for Israel, Guatemalan officials were critical of Israel. General Hector Gramajo stated in an interview, "Maybe some Israeli's taught us intelligence but for reasons of business...The hawks (Israeli arms merchants) took advantage of us, selling us equipment at triple the price."[71] In late 1981, with explicit authorization from the State Department and the Pentagon, ten American-made M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks were delivered to the Guatemalan Army by Belgium at a cost of US $34 million.[62]

In fiscal year 1979, the U.S. also provided Guatemala with $24 million in economic aid, including $5.3 million in PL 480 funds. The reaction of U.S. policy makers in multilateral lending institutions was at best ambiguous during the Carter administration. The U.S. only voted against 2 of 7 multilateral development bank loans for Guatemala between October 1979 and May 1980. In August 1980, it was reported that the U.S. had reversed its position entirely on multilateral development assistance to Guatemala. At that time, the U.S. refused to veto a $51 million loan from the IDB that was earmarked for government use in the turbulent Quiché area of northern Guatemala.[72]

Although some of the training of the Guatemalan Army shifted to Israel and Argentina during the embargo, US training persisted on a covert level. In an investigative report, American newspaper columnist Jack Anderson revealed in August, 1981, at the height of the aid prohibition, that the United States was using Cuban exiles to train security forces in Guatemala; in this operation, Anderson wrote, the CIA had arranged for "secret training in the finer points of assassination." [73] The following year, it was reported that the Green Berets had been instructing Guatemalan Army officers for over two years in the finer points of warfare at Guatemala's main military academy.[74] Jesse Garcia, a 32-year-old Green Beret captain functioning in Guatemala at the time, described his job as "not much different" than that of US advisors in El Salvador in an interview with the New York Times, during which he was on an armed patrol with forty Guatemalan officers in training.[75] By 1983, it was also confirmed that Guatemalan military officers were once again being trained at the US School of the Americas in Panama.[76]

Human Rights Watch in 1984 criticized U.S. President Ronald Reagan for his December 1982 visit to Ríos Montt in Honduras, where Reagan dismissed reports of human rights abuses by prominent human rights organizations while insisting that Ríos Montt was receiving a "bum rap". The organization reported that soon after, the Reagan administration announced that it was dropping a five-year prohibition on arms sales and moreover had "approved a sale of $6.36 million worth of military spare parts," to Rios Montt and his forces.[77] Human Rights Watch described the degree of U.S. responsibility thus: "In light of its long record of apologies for the government of Guatemala, and its failure to repudiate publicly those apologies even at a moment of disenchantment, we believe that the Reagan Administration shares in the responsibility for the gross abuses of human rights practiced by the government of Guatemala."[78]

During the Guatemalan Civil War, the CIA consistently worked inside of a Guatemalan army unit known as D-2, which was responsible for the deaths of countless thousands of Guatemalan citizens and operated a network of torture centers. The CIA's collaboration with D-2 was described by U.S. and Guatemalan operatives, and was confirmed by former Guatemalan heads of state. Colonel Julio Roberto Alpirez, a Guatemalan officer implicated in murders of guerrilla leader Efrain Bamaca Velasquez and Michael Devine discussed in an interview how the CIA advised and helped to run D-2. He claimed that U.S. agents trained D-2 men. Alpirez described attending CIA sessions at D-2 bases on "contra-subversion" tactics and "how to manage factors of power" to "fortify democracy." The CIA also helped to provide "technical assistance" including communications equipment, computers and special firearms, as well as collaborative use of CIA-owned helicopters that were flown out of a piper hangar at La Aurora civilian airport and from a separate U.S. Air facility.[79]

During the 1988-1991 period, the CIA continued to provide intelligence to the army for its long war against guerrillas, farmers, peasants and other opponents. The CIA station chief in Guatemala from 1988 to 1991 was a Cuban American. He had about 20 officers with a budget of about $5 million a year and an equal or greater sum for "liaison" with Guatemalan military. His job included placing and keeping senior Guatemalan officers on his payroll. Among them was Alpirez, who recruited others for CIA. Alpirez's intelligence unit spied on Guatemalans and is accused by human rights groups of assassinations.[80]

The United States reportedly turned to Guatemala's military in 1990 "to promote economic and political stability in this country" even though the military was blamed for human rights abuses and was believed to be involved in drug trafficking.[81]

The United Nations sponsored Commission for Historical Clarification concluded that "The United States demonstrated that it was willing to provide support for strong military regimes in its strategic backyard. In the case of Guatemala, military assistance was directed towards reinforcing the national intelligence apparatus and for training the officer corps in counterinsurgency techniques, key factors which had significant bearing on human rights violations during the armed confrontation."[82]

The National Security Archive released declassified US documents relating to Guatemala's 36-year civil war which show that Washington was aware of the Guatemalan military's excesses against civilians and continued to support it throughout the bloodiest days of the conflict, which killed 200,000 people.[83]

The Reagan administration backed attempts at introducing elections but these efforts were dismissed as a "systematic failure" by one insider..

Thomas Carothers, who describes his stand as 'Neo-Reaganite', is one of the leading international experts on democracy promotion initiatives and U.S. foreign policy. He's currently the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where he is the founder and director of the Democracy and Rule of Law Program. He writes from the perspective of an insider as well as a scholar. While serving in the State Department, he worked with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on "democracy enhancement" programs in Latin America from 1985-1988. In conclusion, Carothers writes:

"The underlying U.S. goal is maintaining the basic societal orders of particular Latin American countries approximately as they are ensuring that the economics are not drastically rearranged and that the power relations of the various social sectors are not turned upside down..The underlying objective is to maintain the basic order of what, historically at least, are quite undemocratic societies. The deep fear in the United States government of populist-based change in Latin America with all its implications for upsetting established economic and political orders and heading off in a leftist direction leads to an emphasis on incremental change from the top down.[84] The Reagan administration came to adopt pro-democracy policies as a means of relieving pressure for more radical change, but inevitably sought only limited, top-down forms of democratic change that did not risk upsetting the traditional structures of power with which the United States has long been allied."[85]

On a trip to Guatemala in 1999 after the publication of the Truth Commission report, U.S. President Bill Clinton declared that "It is important that I state clearly that support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression of the kind described in the report was wrong," and further apologized for "support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression of the kind described in the report".[86]

An Intelligence Oversight Board report from 1996 writes that military aid was stopped during the Carter administration but later resumed under the Reagan Administration. "After a civilian government under President Cerezo was elected in 1985, overt non-lethal US military aid to Guatemala resumed. In December 1990, however, largely as a result of the killing of US citizen Michael DeVine by members of the Guatemalan army, the Bush administration suspended almost all overt military aid." "The funds the CIA provided to the Guatemalan liaison services were vital to the D-2 and Archivos." The CIA "continued this aid after the termination of overt military assistance in 1990." "Overall CIA funding levels to the Guatemalan services dropped consistently from about $3.5 million in FY 1989 to about 1 million in 1995." The report writes that "the CIA's liaison relationship with the Guatemalan services also benefited US interests by enlisting the assistance of Guatemala's primary intelligence and security service – the army's directorate of intelligence (D-2) – in areas such as reversing the 'auto-coup" of 1993'" "In the face of strong protests by Guatemalan citizens and the international community (including the United States) and – most importantly – in the face of the Guatemalan army's refusal to support him, President Serrano's Fujimori-style 'auto-coup' failed."[16]

On September 20, 1996 the Pentagon was forced to release training manuals that were used at the US Army School of the Americas and distributed to thousands of military officers from 11 South and Central American countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama, where the U.S. military was heavily involved in counterinsurgency. These manuals advocated targeting civilians, extrajudicial executions, torture, false imprisonment, and extortion.[87][88][89][90]

In "Teaching Human Rights Violations," a Washington Post Editorial commented on its report, "US instructed Latins on Executions, Torture:" The U.S. Army advocacy of terror methods reaches far beyond the question of whether or not the U.S. Army School of the Americas ought to be shut down {"Army Instructed Latins on Executions, Torture," front page, Sept. 21}. It has to do with U.S. complicity in human rights crimes."[91] In "School of the Dictators", the Editors of the New York Times commented: "Americans can now read for themselves some of the noxious lessons the United States Army taught to thousands of Latin American military and police officers at the School of the Americas during the 1980's. A training manual recently released by the Pentagon recommended interrogation techniques like torture, execution, blackmail and arresting the relatives of those being questioned. Such practices, which some of the school's graduates enthusiastically applied once they returned home, violate basic human rights and the Army's own rules of procedure. They also defy the professed goals of American foreign policy and foreign military training programs."[92]

See also

Further reading

  • Jonas, Susanne. The Battle for Guatemala: Rebels, Death Squads, and U.S. Power, 1991.
  • Wilkinson, Daniel. Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala, 2002.


  4. Briggs, Billy. "Billy Briggs on the atrocities of Guatemala's civil war", The Guardian, 2 February 2007. 
  5. "Timeline: Guatemala", BBC News, 9 November 2011. 
  6. CDI: The Center for Defense Information, The Defense Monitor, "The World At War: January 1, 1998".
  7. War Annual: The World in Conflict [year] War Annual [number].
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Conclusions: The tragedy of the armed confrontation. URL accessed on 2009-09-03.
  9. Stone, Alex. "Mountain of evidence - Book Review | Washington Monthly | Find Articles at BNET",, 2009-06-02. Retrieved on 2009-09-03. 
  10. Online NewsHour: Peace in Guatemala - December 30, 1996. URL accessed on 2009-09-03.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 John Pike. Guatemala. URL accessed on 2009-09-03.
  12. Grandin, Greg. The Last Colonial Massacre, University of Chicago Press, 2004, p. 12
  13. Arias, Arturo (2007). Taking Their Word: Literature and the Signs of Central America. University of Minnesota Press. p. 161. . 
  14. Stanford Magazine: May/June 1999. URL accessed on 2009-09-03.
  15. Jonas, Susanne. Democratization through Peace: The Difficult Case of Guatemala. Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs, Vol. 42, No. 4, Special Issue: Globalization and Democratization in Guatemala (Winter, 2000)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Report on the Guatemala Review Intelligence Oversight Board. 28 June 1996.
  17. "Acts of Genocide" Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification, 1999
  18. "Indians In Guatemala Mountains Suffer in Army Struggle With Leftist Guerrillas" The Wall Street Journal, 20 September 1985
  19. "Group Works to Identify Remains in Guatemala" NPR, January 29, 2007
  22. Michael McClintock, The American Connection, vol. 2, State Terror and Popular Resistance in Guatemala (London: Zed, 1985), pp. 84—85.
  23. "Anti-communism and the National Security Doctrine" Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification, 1999
  24. Gabriel Aguilera Peralta, "The Militarization of the State," in Guatemala in Rebellion: Unfinished History
  25. Chapter 4: The 1980s. URL accessed on 13 November 2011.
  26. Judgment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of the assassination of Myrna Mack Chang.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Human Rights Testimony Given Before the United States Congressional Human Rights Caucus (Human Rights Watch Press release, ). URL accessed on 2009-09-03.
  28. Guatemala: A Nation of Prisoners, An Americas Watch Report, January 1984, pp. 2–3
  29. "Operacion Sofia" Base Militar de Tropas Paracaidistas
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 Llorca, Juan Carlos. "Guatemala convicts paramilitary in disappearances", Boston Globe, 2009-09-01. Retrieved on 2009-09-01.  [dead link]
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 "Guatemala sees landmark sentence", BBC, 2009-09-01. Retrieved on 2009-09-01. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 AFP. Man accused of killing farmers gets 150 years. China Post. URL accessed on 2009-09-02.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Reuters. Guatemala sees landmark conviction. The Irish Times. URL accessed on 2009-09-01.
  34. The Dos Erres Trial: Justice and Politics in Guatemala
  35. Guatemala Dos Erres massacre soldier given 6,060 years. BBC. URL accessed on 13 March 2012.
  36. "CONDITIONS AND TRENDS IN LATIN AMERICA AFFECTING US SECURITY" Central Intelligence Agency, December, 12, 1952
  37. "Hearings before and special reports made by Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives on subjects affecting the naval and military establishments" United States. Congress. House. Committee on Armed Services, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Armed Services. Subcommittee on Military Installations and Facilities, 1991
  38. "Army Massacres Follow Brutal Tradition" The Los Angeles Times, Mar 23, 1982
  39. "The Murderous Mind of the Latin Military" The Los Angeles Times, Mar 18, 1982
  40. "Images and Intervention: U.S. Policies in Latin America" By Martha L. Cottam, University of Pittsburgh Pre, Apr 15, 1994
  41. "The Hovering Giant: U.S. Responses to Revolutionary Change in Latin America" By Cole Blasier, Jan 15, 1985
  42. "Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944-1954" By Piero Gleijeses, 1992, P. 365
  43. "Interpreting the 1954 U.S. Intervention in Guatemala: Realist, Revisionist, and Postrevisionist Perspectives" Stephen M. Streeter, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
  44. Cullather, Nick (1999). Secret History: The CIA's classified account of its operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954. Stanford University Press. p. 17. . 
  45. Stanley, Diane (1994). For the Record: United Fruit Company's Sixty-Six Years in Guatemala. Centro Impresor Piedra Santa. p. 179. 
  46. J. Patrice McSherry. “The Evolution of the National Security State: The Case of Guatemala.” Socialism and Democracy. Spring/Summer 1990, 133.
  47. "CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents" The National Security Archive
  48. "Hearings" United States. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1968
  49. "Rockefeller report on Latin America: hearing before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs ... 91-1, Nov. 20, 1969" United States. Congress. Senate. Foreign Relations, 1970
  50. "US news and world report, Volume 95" U.S. News & World Report, inc., 1983
  51. "Latin American Left, Right Say U. S. Militarized Continent" The Washington Post, Apr 11, 1977
  52. "War on democracy" By John Pilger, 2007
  53. "Press releases" United States. Dept. of State, 1971
  54. "Press releases" United States. Dept. of State, 1971
  55. The Battle for Guatemala: Rebels, Death Squads, and U.S. Power. Contributors: Susanne Jonas – author. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of Publication: Boulder, CO. Publication Year: 1991. Page Number: 70.
  56. McSherry 134.
  57. Jeffery M. Paige, Social Theory and Peasant Revolution in Vietnam and Guatemala, Theory and Society, Vol. 12, No. 6 (Nov., 1983), pp. 699–737
  58. cf. Schoultz 1987; McClintock 1985
  59. NACLA report on the Americas: Volume 18
  60. Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (2nd edition). New York, Norton & Company, 1993.
  61. New York Times, 21 June 1981; 25 April 1982; The Guardian (London), 10 January 1983.
  62. 62.0 62.1
  63. Enfoprensa, 1984
  64. Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (1987). The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms and Why. I.B.Tauris. p. 80. 
  65. Philip Taubman. "Israel said to aid Latin Aims of U.S.", 21 July 1983. Retrieved on 21 March 2012. 
  66. Christian Science Monitor; October 28, 1981
  68. Ibid; 35.
  69. SIPRI Yearbook: 1977, p.316; 1978, p.262; 1979, pp.214-215
  70. Irin Carmon (21 February 2012). "Linked Arms". Tablet. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  71. Schirmer, The Guatemalan Military Project: A Violence Called Democracy, Page. 311; Gramajo Interview.
  73. San Francisco Chronicle, 27 August 1981, p. 57
  74. Washington Post, 21 October 1982, p. A1.
  75. Washington Post, 21 October 1982
  76. The Guardian (London), 17 May 1983.
  77. Guatemala: A Nation of Prisoners, An Americas Watch Report, January 1984, 135
  78. Guatemala: A Nation of Prisoners, An Americas Watch Report, January 1984
  79. Reuters, 3/30/1995
  80. "Shadowy Alliance -- A special report.; In Guatemala's Dark Heart, C.I.A. Lent Succor to Death" The New York Times, April 02, 1995
  81. "U.S. Is Taking a New Tack in Guatemala : Diplomacy: American officials are turning to the military to help achieve stability and to gain help in the war on drugs." The Los Angeles Times, May 07, 1990
  82. "The National Security Doctrine and the role of the United States" The Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification, 1999
  83. "Papers Expand on U.S. Role in Guatemala" The Washington Post, 12 March 1999
  84. "In the Name of Democracy: U.S. Policy Toward Latin America in the Reagan Years" By Thomas Carothers, 1993
  85. "Exporting democracy: the United States and Latin America : themes and issues" By Thomas Carothers, 1991
  86. "Clinton: Support for Guatemala Was Wrong",, 1999-03-11. Retrieved on 2009-09-03. 
  87. "Declassified Army and CIA Manuals" Latin American Working Group, 1997
  88. "PRISONER ABUSE: PATTERNS FROM THE PAST" The National Security Archive, May 12, 2004
  89. "War on democracy - School of Americas" By John Pilger
  90. "U.S. Instructed Latins On Executions, Torture; Manuals Used 1982-91, Pentagon Reveals" The Washington Post, Sep 21, 1996
  91. "Teaching Human Rights Violations" The Washington Post, Oct 1, 1996
  92. "School of the Dictators" The New York Times, September 28, 1996

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