The Crimes of Rios Montt in Guatemala
The General who was accused Para Espanol
Spain 1982 World Cup is at the forefront of the media, bombarding us with advertisement. "The most important event of the year 82." The streets are mistaken as a party and we are playing a game of street soccer with my friends, when suddenly “Goal!” shouts Solomon , one of my best friends who’s nicknamed the wise one. He ran to the goal and formed a cloud of dust, some say it was another goal. As someone shouts “Penalty!,” a car appears like a ghost and 4 unpleasant faces appears, showing their pistols and machine guns.
We wanted to run but one of the men (a police officer) pointed the gun at us saying we were bastards.
We were frozen, I hear my heart like a drum rhythm beating, a drop of sweat goes into my eye and when I try to clean it, I feel on my head, something metal ready to shoot.
They inspected us down to our shoes and then they climbed back in the car saying, “kids- behave well or we’ll kill you.”
The car without the license plates disappears, while the neighbors with windows and doors closed halfway were looking while others not looking. Then silence falls, nobody saw any of the violence coming.
It is May 10 and the church holds the church mass for mourning. It is Mother's Day and many mothers are crying for their dead and missing children. They all know that the police took them and the others, killed by the army who feared what came out of their mouths.
General Efrain Rios Montt was involved in a state coup and become president of Guatemala on March 23 in 1982. He appeared on a national television show with an image of being the savior of Guatemala, with promises of peace.
But as of this date, the CUC Committee of United Campesinos affirmed "The army and the government in its fight against the insurgency, launched bombs and bullets on our villages and communities, military control, forced labor, humiliation and general took out their outrage on every family. There was violation of human rights in every corner of Guatemala. "Rios Montt’s ‘achievements’ includes: Building a culture of violence and threats against civilians throughout Guatemala. Furthermore, forming paramilitary groups( PACs) with the idea of fighting the guerrillas.”
It is estimated an average of 334 massacres and 20,000 murders and disappearances, over 600 villages destroyed, more than 90,000 refugees to neighboring countries and 100,000 displaced to different parts of Guatemala..
Plan Sofía 82
The Madrid Peace Foundation revealed the Sofia Plan, created in 1982 by the Guatemalan army high commandant to exterminate the unarmed peasant Mayan population. The examples of this work are:
July 7, 1982 The army reaches the hamlet village Puente Alto Quetzal Barillas Huehuetenango
They separated men and raped women, killing about 360 people, men women and children.
July 17, 1982 San Francisco Chin Village Huehuetenango a meeting convenes, killing 350 people.
According to (REMHI) Recovery of Historical Memory: "Especially in years 1978-1983, harassment through military incursions, bombings and massacres all had massive impact in communities considered red areas by the army” (Ixcan, Verapaces Ixil Region, Central Highlands)
Plan Victoria 82
The goal was to increase military units in the area of conflict, destroying the support base of the insurgents and eliminate guerrilla members. The army concluded that "The mind of the population is the main goal.”
Violence in urban areas
In urban areas of Guatemala City, many lives were lost- of union leaders and human rights organizations and civil leaders of Catholic Church and the University of San Carlos of Guatemala. Students and professors gave their lives for telling the truth and claim their civil rights, as professionals and students.
Romeo Lucas Garcia, President of the Republic during the worst years of urban repression maintained violence against the University of San Carlos. From Guatemala "But we can say that all rulers, from 1954 to 1996, were ready to attack or allow its security forces to attack, almost always out of court, the opposition based in University College At least 46 killed violently during the 17 months of the government of Rios Montt. Later, even more were killed during the government of Oscar Mejia Victores (military) and Vinicio Cerezo (civil). However, for the entire country's regime, Rios Montt was responsible for more murders than any other "(Ball, Kobrak and Spirer 1999)
With all the investigated evidence, it has been pointed out by many people and organizations who accused the chief leader who governed the Republic of Guatemala- of creating a racist form of government and implementing the cruelest genocide and impunity in Latin America .
If tears could talk they'd tell you all the suffering of brothers, sisters, relatives, friends and colleagues. Like my friend Salomon, taken without permission from his father's car. There was an accident on the road to Salvador Barberena height and the next day the court arrived to his father, Don Tancho’s house. His father, a working man owned a small bakery, and was brought the news of the accident of his son Solomon. Followed with threats to kill his family and accusations of being guerrillas. Tancho Don gave them all the money he had.
Days later, they released Salomon after beatings and tortures ,and having Gamesan Mask, bug poison, put on him. This leaving Salomon mentally traumatized and years later, attending his funeral. Everyone knew the culprit but no one could accuse them.
January 28th 2013 opened a trial against Jose Efrain Rios Montt and Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. There was an injunction on March 19. The trial is formally opened now on his accusers and immunity can talk.