Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Guatemala 1954 CIA Coup About to End? [61 years too late]
AMY GOODMAN: In Guatemala, a judge has ordered former Vice President Roxana Baldetti must remain in prison while her corruption trial takes place. The ruling comes on the heels of the Guatemalan Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to lift the immunity from prosecution for President Otto Pérez Molina, clearing the way for his impeachment. The court passed the impeachment recommendation along to Congress. Miguel Pineda is a spokesperson for the Guatemalan Supreme Court.
MIGUEL PINEDA: [translated] Today, all Supreme Court judges met for an extraordinary session regarding a request for the impeachment of President Otto Pérez Molina. Because of this, they met with the head magistrate of the Second Chamber of the Criminal Court of Appeals, Magistrate Gustavo Dubón. They then studied the case, and after their respective analysis, they established that there exists the possibility of transferring the case to the republic's Congress. Consequently, the request has been passed on to the republic's Congress for its resolution.
AMY GOODMAN: A general strike has been called in Guatemala for today. Well, for more, we're joined by Allan Nairn, longtime journalist who has covered Guatemala since the 1980s.
Allan, welcome back to Democracy Now! Can you talk about what is engulfing Guatemala today, the significance of what's happening to the president, the general strike that's called for today?
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, it's an uprising, and it could lead to the fall of Pérez Molina. They're calling for a general strike, mass demonstration today. The issue is corruption. But if the movement develops further, if it spreads more fully to the Mayan heartland of the country, then the issue could move from corruption to justice, because the reason the Guatemalan elite, like General Pérez Molina and Vice President Baldetti, have been able to loot the treasury to the tune of more than $100 million, been able to steal for themselves cash which was used for Jaguar cars, plantations, villas, yachts, airplanes, helicopters, was because they took and have maintained themselves in power through mass murder. Pérez Molina was a commander in the northwest highlands during the '80s. He personally helped implement the Ríos Montt program of mass murdereffectively, genocideagainst the Mayan population. And that's what the Guatemalan system has been built on.
So if this uprising spreads, if it becomes an even broader, deeper movement, and you move from the question of corruption to the question of justice for mass murder, that can only be resolved by implicating not just Pérez Molina personally, but also the Guatemalan army as a whole institution, also the U.S. government, which has armed, trained and financed that army, backed that program of slaughter, which the American CIA had Pérez Molina on the payroll when he was head of G-2, the intelligence unit. And it also can't be resolved without implicating CACIF, the association of the oligarchy, which backed the army during the slaughter and which, individually, ran its own death squads. The oligarchs, the young men, would go through what was kind of a ritual of bloodying their own hands, and if there was a union-organizing drive at their fathers' factory, some of the boys would get together, and they'd go out and kill the unionists. And those young men who did that in the '80s are now in their fifties and sixties, and they're the leaders of the Guatemalan oligarchy. So the last thing they want to see is a true investigation and bringing to justice of perpetrators. That's the last thing Washington wants to see.
And the situation is basically out of control right now. The U.S. is trying to prop up Pérez Molina. They're trying to keep him in office. CACIF is trying to co-opt and wind down the movement, the demonstrations. But no one knows if they'll succeed, and no one knows where this will lead. And it could lead to fundamental change in Guatemala. There's already talk of postponing the elections, which are due for September 6th, of rewriting the electoral law, of rewriting the constitution. So it's a question of whether popular power prevails or whether the same old perpetrators continue to run the country, and nobody knows what will happen.
AMY GOODMAN: Allan, I want to go back to 1982, when you interviewed Otto Pérez Molina in the area of Quiché of Guatemala during the height of the massacres targeting indigenous communities. At the time, Otto Pérez Molina was known as Tito. This is part of your exchange.
ALLAN NAIRN: [in Spanish, translated] The United States is considering giving military help here in the form of helicopters. What is the importance of helicopters for all of you?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: [translated] A helicopter is an apparatus that's become of great importance not only here in Guatemala but also in other countries where they've had problems of a counterinsurgency.
ALLAN NAIRN: [translated] Like in Vietnam?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: [translated] In Vietnam, for example, the helicopter was an apparatus that was used a lot.
AMY GOODMAN: Allan Nairn, you were speaking to Otto Pérez Molina. Can you explain what it is he said and who you understood he was at the time?
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, he was using the alias "Mayor Tito," Major Tito. He was the commander working out of the town of Nebaj of the Ixil zone, where he was implementing the Ríos Montt program of massacre. The soldiers below him described in detail how they would go into villages, strangle people, make them dig their own mass graves, bomb their houses.
Pérez Molina was telling me in that clip about the helicopters they had and were hoping to get more of from the United States, which they used to attack the villages. The U.S. and Israel armed that program of slaughter. After he did that in the highlands, he rose to become general, become head of G-2, the military intelligence unit, which did disappearances, torture. They even had their own crematorium in the town of Huehuetenango. And the CIA, the American CIA, gave funds to Pérez Molina. They placed North American CIA operatives inside the G-2 as those atrocities were being carried out. And the U.S. was fully behind this.
Now, there's fear in Washington. There's fear among the oligarchs that this whole Pandora's box could be opened, because the people are in the streets. Now the people are in the streets talking about the corruption, but if they start more intensively talking about the blood, if they follow that trail of blood, it leads directly back to Washington. It leads directly back to the suites of CACIF, the oligarchs who own Guatemala.
AMY GOODMAN: When you say CACIF, talking about the oligarchy, what does CACIF stand for? Who are they, actually? Is it equivalent in the United States to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?
ALLAN NAIRN: It's much stronger than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It would be as if all of the U.S. billionaires, all of the U.S. corporations came together in one entity and usually spoke with a single voice. For example, after the Ríos Montt genocide trial, in which he was, in an extraordinary achievementI think a world historic civilizational breakthroughGuatemala domestically brought to trial its own former dictator, convicted him of genocide, sentenced him to 80 years. The leaders of CACIF, the oligarchs, stood up and demanded, demanded on national TV in a press conference, that that verdict be annulled. They were giving orders to a court. And the High Court of Guatemala, as they usually do, responded to the bidding of CACIF, and they annulled the verdict.
But now the Ríos Montt trial is being renewed. It's due to start again in January. But this is an oligarchy in Guatemala which kills its own unionists, which kills peasants who try to organize the plantations, which works hand in glove with Washington and is now trying to hold onto their power, because, for the first time, it's under threat. I mean, this is a historic moment. It all began in 1954, when the CIA invaded Guatemala, overthrew a democratically elected government and put the army in power. And now, the people have risen.
AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to Allan Nairn, a journalist and activist who has covered Guatemala for decades. Ríos Montt, the trial for Ríos Montt, it's in the midst of happening now, is that right? We were just looking at images of Ríos Montt laid out on a gurney. Explain who he was in the 1980s, his relationship with the U.S. government. At the time, it was President Ronald Reagan, is that right?
ALLAN NAIRN: Yes. Ríos Montt was a dictator who seized power in a coup. He sent his army sweeping through the Mayan northwest highlands. Ríos Montt told me that for every one who is shooting, referring to guerrilla insurgents, there are 10 working behind them, meaning 10 civilians. He considered those civilians who had any feelings of opposition to the rich, to the army, to the government, as legitimate targets for extermination. And that's what they did withand that's what he did with the help of field officers like Mayor Tito, Otto Pérez Molina.
After he fell, I interviewed Ríos Montt again. And I said to him, "Well, General, you were a big proponent of the death penalty. Do you think that you should be executed for your role in the slaughter of the Mayan population?" And when I asked him that question, Ríos Montt jumped to his feet, and he shoutedand this is Ríos Montt's style of speakinghe said, "Yes! Put me on trial! Put me against the wall! Execute me! But if you're going to try me, you also have to try the Americans, including Ronald Reagan."
And he had a point in that, because he had the full support of the U.S. Reagan personally embraced Ríos Montt, said he was getting a bum rap on human rights, and did everything he could to overcome resistance in the U.S. Congress to send weapons, arms and training. And there was a covert relationship through which the CIA sponsored one generation after another of G-2 assassins. And the G-2 leaders, like General Pérez Molina and also General Ortega Menaldo, General Godoy Gaitán, also received funds from the CIA. So this is a veryGuatemala has been one of the key projects of Washington for decades, one of the countries in the world most under the influence of the U.S. government and defense establishment and corporations, and also, notI think not unrelated, one of the hungriest countries in the world. They have one of the highest indices of malnutrition in Latin America. The exploitation is as gross as it can get. That's why so many Guatemalans are flooding into America as immigrants looking for workand now possibly facing the prospect of expulsion at the hands of people like Donald Trump.
But now the system is coming under challenge from people on the ground in Guatemala, but no one knows how far it will go. CACIF, the oligarchs, and Washington are trying to implement a smooth transition, where, you know, one military man, one oligarch, is replaced by another, nothing basic changes. But this could get out of control, and it could lead to a rewriting of the constitution, of the electoral law, and perhaps the beginnings of a kind of popular government, like we see in parts of South America, that starts doing some kind of work for basic justice, for a basic redistribution of wealth, making it possible for workers in the fields who break their backs trying to support their families, making it possible for them to get enough to feed the kids, to give them some education, to get some healthcare.
AMY GOODMAN: Allan, The New York Times editorial today says, "The president [Otto Pérez Molina], whose term expires in January, [and] who enjoys immunity while in office, has refused to heed the calls for his resignation, even as the business establishment and many politicians have turned on him. Of course he deserves his day in court, but right now he is only delaying the inevitablemeaning, quite likely, a prison sentence, along with one for [former Vice President Roxana] Baldetti. That outcome would send a powerful message to Guatemalans who aspire to be governed by honest leaders. It should also be studied, and possibly emulated, in neighboring countries where justice is still too often administered arbitrarily or not at all." That from The New York Times today. Your response?
ALLAN NAIRN: Well, one neighboring country that needs justice is the United States. The United States has not yet reached the level of civilization of Guatemala. Guatemala put their own former head of state, their own former dictator, Ríos Montt, on trial and convicted him of genocide. When I was in the courtroom as that verdict was being read out, I was trying to imagine if you could be standing in a court in Texas and hearing a guilty verdict being read out against George W. Bush for the civilians he killed during the invasion of Iraq, or in a court in Illinois hearing a guilty verdict being read out against President Barack Obama for the civilians he killed with his drone strikes. And it's justI didn't have enough imagination to reach that point. It's inconceivable in the U.S. now. But Guatemala has done that.
Now, they're going after the sitting president for corruption. This is being down with the initiative, the main initiative, of the special prosecutor's office, that was created as a result of agitation by human rights activists in Guatemala who succeeded in getting a special statute implemented. That special prosecutor is backed by the United Nations, and the Attorney General's Office of Guatemala has gone along with them. And now they have arrested the sitting vice president. They're seeking to arrest the sitting president for corruption. But again, the question is if the movement spreads broadly enough, if it reaches the Mayan heartland, if people come into the streets and are not intimidated by CACIF, not intimidated by the army, and they start demanding justice for the years of mass murder, the ongoing economic exploitation at the hands of local oligarchs, but also at the hands of foreign corporations who they brought innow there's mass looting of the mineral wealth of Guatemala by American and especially Canadian mining companies, and activists who protested against that have been murdered. This could all face change now if the movement goes far enough. And Washington and the rich are desperately trying to stop it.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Unfortunately, I think it is far from over. I got this a couple of months ago from Guatemala.

Quote:Statement, Guatemalan Party of Labour (PGT)
Dismantle criminal political structure
The political crisis arising from the actions of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and the Public Ministry (MP) to dismantle the criminal structure known as La Linea (The Line) and subsequently the network operating in the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS) reveals that the state has entered into and been held captive by these kinds of mafia organisations from the highest levels of political power. Both arose about four decades ago, as part of the counterinsurgency alliance of the oligarchy and the military leadership, with the strong support of the United States.
[Image: 13-statement-guatemalan.jpg] In this context, the military leadership and middle rank army officers created criminal structures of drug, arms and human trafficking, tax fraud and smuggling. The army became, gradually, a real factor of political and economic power through the accumulation of illicit capital. These are the foundations of the bourgeois, militarised counter-insurgency state, controlled by the oligarchy, the military leaders and their gangs of organised crime.
The political transition that began in 1985 reconfigured the state. The counter-insurgency-Mafia state was transformed into a neo-liberal, Mafia and repressive state, whose political control would dispute the oligarchy and the "modernising bourgeoisie" to the leading positions and counterinsurgency military Officer Corp and organised crime. The actions of former President Alvaro Arzu against the "Moreno Network" and Grupo Salvavidas (Lifeguard Group) in 1996 were an expression of that dispute, but were truncated as the main beneficiaries of this network were financiers of the National Advancement Party (PAN), through which Arzú became President of the Republic.
The function of this converted state is to ensure the development of neo-liberal capitalism and the expansion of transnational capital in the country. To do this, counterinsurgency structures (especially intelligence) aim to repress in partnership with businesses, private security and intelligence apparatus any manifestations of struggle against neo-liberal capitalism, the plunder and the trans-nationalisation of resources and assets held by the public.
The political crisis arising from the dismantling of some of these criminal networks is an expression of the deep structural crisis to be found within the neo-liberal-Mafia state, controlled by large corporate groups and organised crime. It is a manifestation of the struggle between power groups that control it. The crisis of neo-liberal capitalism in Guatemala is deepening and, as a result of its disastrous effects, popular mobilisation against this predatory model is increasing daily.
The key question is how to solve it. So far, they have clearly revealed two proposals: a "controlled exit" by the ruling class in alliance with the US, and an exit which allows at least the reorganisation and democratisation of the state and its institutions. However, on the horizon one begins to glimpse the demand for a radical refounding of the State, expressed by a cross-class, ethnic and social formation that consolidates its features in the current situation.
With the resignation of vice-president Roxana Baldetti and the subsequent appointment of Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre (a character with a dark past, from the right and the defunct National Liberation Movement (MLN) linked to death squads in the 60s -70s), the US Embassy and the Guatemalan Business Council sought to impose its "controlled exit". In this solution to the crisis, CICIG has played a vital role since the revelation of "The Line". This manoeuvre has the fundamental aim of ensuring the continuity of the neo-liberal project and hegemony and domination of the bourgeoisie, the leadership of the military and the US.
Another proposal suggests the consolidation of institutions, including political parties, in addition to the requirement to prosecute those linked to these criminal structures. It focuses on the need to reform the Electoral Law and Political Parties and the convening of a National Constituent Assembly, within the current parameters. Among these proposals there is a range of approaches to moving towards or away from the demand for radical re-foundation of the State.
From our perspective, neither of the first two ways out of the crisis offer the solution to the great problems of the country. On the one hand, the "controlled exit" only guarantees the continuation of the neo-liberal project of big business, the plunder of public assets and resources and communities; it ensures state control by the traditional economic power, the emerging one and the Mafias. Furthermore, the second proposal reduces the reform of the rules of the political game and the Constitution to institutional reorganisation.
The Guatemalan Party of Labour expresses its full support for the large mobilisations carried out by the urban middle class in the capital city and several departments and the major demonstrations that have also featured support from the peasant, Indigenous and popular movement; demanding clean lawsuits, seeking new institutions, reform of the state and prosecution of all those involved in the criminal structures formed by businessmen, politicians, civil servants, officers and demobilised former military officers, civil institutions throughout the state during the current government, the contemporary expression of the counterinsurgency policy of militarism.
At the same time, the PGT raises the need to deepen these demonstrations; turn them into a broad popular movement, in the city and countryside, of workers, communities and peoples, employees, students of all levels and middle class people. This situation opens up the possibility of promoting a thorough review and parallel elimination of corrupt practices that have contaminated the trade union, peasant and popular movement, and the electoral left itself.
It also proposes to make the crisis a turning point and fight for measures that direct the country towards a deep transformation of the state as well as the promotion of a development model that favours the population, which has hitherto been excluded. In that sense, our demands should be directed to:
1. The demilitarisation of the State, the total dismantling of all criminal structures within it, from national to municipal and local; judicial prosecution of their members (entrepreneurs, politicians, military and former military, civil servants and lawyers) and the dismantling of the structural mechanisms of corruption.
2. The end to the criminalisation of social struggles and repression against the people, social leaders, advocates and human rights defenders, community leaders in the struggle of resistance and defence of the territory.
3. Suspension of the general elections and adoption of a new Electoral Law and Political Parties to ensure: a) participation in conditions of equality of women and of Maya, Xinca and Garifuna peoples with candidacies defined according to their gender and their own norms, independent of political parties' regulations; b) change of the current electoral districts to others that take into account the territoriality of the Maya, Garifuna and Xinca peoples to ensure their representation; c) the prohibition of private funding to political parties and the establishment of effective supervisory mechanisms; d) strengthening the enforcement capacity of the Electoral Commission, TSE in relation to crimes and offences in electoral matters.
4. Resignation of the Executive in full and the establishment of a transitional government, emanating from the consensus of all social and political forces.
5. The call for a National Constituent Popular Assembly to drive the process of reorganising the state to build one social, plural-national, democratic and participatory, anti-patriarchal one, respectful of nature and ensuring self-determination of the peoples who are integrated.
6. The repeal of all harmful legislation that enables theft of public goods and resources and communities, and that damages the interests of the working class, Indigenous people
Statement, Guatemalan Party of Labour (PGT)
Dismantle criminal political structure
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Quote:And Washington and the rich are desperately trying to stop it.

Sadly, you are likely correct Magda, but we can always hope. This is along with Honduras the original CIA 'banana republics'.....a shameful history [which includes most all Central and most of South America too]. Time to end it all and never do so again. I was always the rich inside and out, and the ultra-right inside and out that were in favor of this and used the military inside and the CIA from outside and in to do this. Israel and UK helped out on some things at some times, but were not the prime players. The hate us for our freedoms?...and those we impose on others? What a sad joke! The Truth of American History is almost the exact opposite of the American Mythological Fairy tale sold to the public via the controlled media as one sells snake oil. America never was about promoting democracy - not at home and less fact, quite the opposite, as the record clearly shows. One has to struggle to name more than one dictatorship, military coup, repressive regime, death-squad type of government that wasn't a USA puppet scheme and/or set up and supported by the US. You won't find it in US History books in schools up to university level, nor on the History Channel et al. It is all a secret, as if it never happened. It may have fooled most Americans, but it fooled few in the countries effected. They don't love the US, and with good reason they fear it.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
Molina has refused to resign. But court says he can be impeached.
Quote: (CNN)Amid Guatemala's growing political crisis, the court decision was unanimous.

The Central American nation's Supreme Court on Tuesday approved a motion by the attorney general to impeach President Otto Perez Molina over allegations he led a corruption scheme.
The case is now in the hands of the congress, which will decide whether to strip the President of immunity from prosecution, a legal benefit given to some elected officials in Guatemala.
Opposition leaders have failed several times in the past two weeks to get the votes needed to remove Perez Molina's immunity.
According to the Guatemalan Attorney General's Office and a U.N. investigating commission, Perez Molina and a group of close aides within his administration received bribes in exchange for lowering taxes for companies seeking to import products into Guatemala.
In a message broadcast Sunday on Guatemalan national TV and radio, the President denied the charges and suggested he's the target of a plot by his political enemies aided by foreign interests.
"I categorically deny and reject the accusation that I was involved (in a corruption scheme) and having received any money from that customs fraud scheme," he said.

Former vice president to face trial

Prosecutors say the group was known as "La Linea" or "The Line." The scandal engulfed Perez Molina's administration in April, when investigators accused Roxanna Baldetti, the vice president at the time, of involvement in the scheme.
Baldetti, who resigned in May, was detained by authorities on Friday.
The judge in charge of her case determined Tuesday that she will be tried for customs fraud, illicit association and passive bribery -- the same charges the President is facing.
Baldetti denies the charges and Mario Cano, her attorney, said in court Tuesday that prosecutors are targeting the wrong person.
As part of the evidence, prosecutors say they have 88,920 recordings of phone conversations. In one recording, played in court Monday, prosecutors say Perez Molina can be heard giving instructions to replace a customs official that apparently wasn't cooperating with La Linea.

Presidential election looms

The intensifying corruption scandal comes at a delicate time in Guatemalan politics: the country is scheduled to hold presidential elections on September 6.
There have been weekly protests demanding Perez Molina's immediate resignation since April in Guatemala City, the capital.
Yuri Ortiz was one of dozens of teachers protesting in front of the iconic National Palace on Tuesday.
"I think that the most dignified thing the president could do is to resign immediately," Ortiz said "He knows the people of Guatemala don't want him in power anymore because he's a corrupt politician and a thief.".
But presidential spokesman Jorge Ortega told CNN the president is determined to stay in power until his term ends on January 14.
"Resigning is a personal decision, but the president has a constitutional mandate that has to be respected," he said "We can only change our leaders through a vote and not by protesting on the
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Use of the Espionage Act from 120 years ago Peter Lemkin 0 1,190 18-08-2022, 12:36 PM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  Yet Another USA Coup Attempt Against Venezuela Underway Now! Peter Lemkin 5 8,145 03-02-2019, 08:24 AM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup David Guyatt 0 3,689 29-10-2016, 08:56 AM
Last Post: David Guyatt
  Political Coup In Brazil Now Underway Peter Lemkin 8 10,603 26-05-2016, 08:44 AM
Last Post: Peter Lemkin
  The coup d"etat Harry Dean 20 26,376 03-03-2016, 02:13 PM
Last Post: Drew Phipps
  Guy Rundle on CIA involvement in the Whitlam dismissal - THE COUP D’ETAT THAT UNMADE AUSTRALIA Anthony Thorne 3 6,925 08-12-2015, 10:19 AM
Last Post: Magda Hassan
  The Coup D'etat of America in 2001 David Guyatt 8 23,437 22-10-2015, 05:25 PM
Last Post: David Guyatt
  Berlin surrendered to Russians 70 years ago Tracy Riddle 2 4,758 09-05-2015, 05:45 AM
Last Post: Lauren Johnson
  Russian Parliament siege – as seen 20 years ago: LIVE TIMELINE Magda Hassan 1 5,346 04-10-2013, 02:09 PM
Last Post: David Guyatt
  Brazil's 'lost report' into genocide surfaces after 40 years Magda Hassan 6 6,511 18-06-2013, 01:01 PM
Last Post: Magda Hassan

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)