Rioss Mont, the former dictaor of Guatemala has been found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. A man Reagan met with, and described as “A man of great personal integrity and commitment”. He oversaw some of the bloodiest years of the Guatemalan civil war, and it’s scorched earth policy that saw the rape, murder, torture, and dissapearing of tens of thousands of guatemalans.
Of course- what has been largely missing from the limited coverage of this conviction, is our countries role. Nixon and Ford had certainly played a large role in supporting the military dictatorship of Guatemala, before Jimmy Carter became president and ended these policies.
But then Reagan, the great republican saint, restarted US aid and support. And coincidentally, the worst of the atrocities followed.
Virtually as soon as he took office Reagan gave them nearly 15 million dollars worth of attack helicopters and trucks and jeeps. He also authorized more then $2 million worth of “covert CIA aid”. As well as delivering more then $35 million worth of tanks. And of course the training of key players at the good ole’ “School of the Americas”.
According to the human rights department of the Catholic Church the offensive launched with Reagans aid, an offensive designed to “de-populate” and “instill terror” in regions where the insurgency was popular, saw 11,000 civilians brutally murdered in just 8 months time.
Just another page in the sad book that is the decade plus long Reagan / Bush policicies of supporting brutal dictators throughout south and central america (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador…) because they were more willing to play ball with US economic interests, were less socialist or communist then the insurgents, or the elected leaders we helped assassinate or overthrow.
A book that is sadly part of a series- starting largely with Dwight D Eisenhower. And with the most gruesome chapters comprised of Republican administrations. Whose appendix should well include the names of the hundreds of thousands of innocents tortured, raped, and murdered for nothing more then trying to choose their own path, their own destinies, their own governments…in their own countries. But who made the simple mistake of running afoul of US interests.