On Friday, May 17th, host Esty Dinur talked with investigative journalist Allan Nairn about U.S.-involvement in the Guatemalan genocide and Rios Montt’s crimes.
The U.S. first intervened in Guatemalan politics when President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán nationalized United Fruit company holdings throughout the country in the early 1950’s. In response to this, the United States supported a military coup, which deposed the elected president and replaced him with a military government that would preserve U.S. interests in the region.
During the 70’s and 80’s the Guatemalan military, in the name of suppressing dissent and chiefly under the leadership of Rios Montt, executed, tortured, and displaced nearly a quarter of a million ethnic Mayans throughout the country. This included women, children, and the elderly. Survivors set international precedent by bringing a criminal charge against Montt for crimes against humanity. As of May 10th, Montt was convicted to 80 years in prison.
Nairn provided detailed and important information on all of these events, including the atrocities against the Guatemalan people and the continuing fight for justice and redemption. Most importantly, though, he argues that justice has not yet been achieved. And it will not be achieved, he maintains, until the U.S. officials within the Reagan administration who were responsible for supplying arms and turning a blind eye to these atrocities are also brought to trial.
Read Nairn’s blog to learn more about the trials and how you can get involved.
Listen to the entire show: