Tag Archives: Álvaro Colom

Former General Otto Perez Molina Faces Second Round in Guatemala Election

13 Sep

Former Guatemalan General Otto Perez Molina, the candidate that raised grave concern with Guatemalan human rights advocates for his role in the Guatemalan genocide and political violence of the 1980’s will face a second round election against Manuel Balzizon – an affluent businessman running as a populist.

As per usual, Al Jazeera has some of the best coverage:

And there’s coverage from TeleSur (with subtitles):

Some question to ponder on – where is the left in Guatemala? What does this run-off between an ex-general and an entrepreneur with populist rhetoric say about Guatemalan politics today? With the current trend of violence, can campaigns solely be run on a security and mano dura (strong hand) partly line?

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The US “Crime Against Humanity” in Guatemala

2 Sep

Every other week these days we’re learning new details about what Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has called a “crime against humanity” – it now appears that the US deliberately infected up to 2,500 Guatemalans with STD’s from 1946 to 1948.

A reality check is in order – immediately following the end of World WarII, just as the United States and the western world stood appalled and shocked by the crimes of the Nazi regime, the United States was performing Mengele-like medical experiments on innocent Guatemalans.

Obamas has reportedly apologized and there are a few headlines and stories here and there – but will this alter our dominant narrative on the post-World War II period? Will this inspire a national dialogue on our long-term relations with Guatemalans? What was the thought process? How exactly did the US government arrive at the conclusion that Guatemalans were so inferior that they were apt candidates for human guinea pigs? How does this thinking impact our support for a government that subsequently committed a genocide against its own people? My guess that none of this will come up… The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will come out with its report and the White House will likely file it away with a brief press release. Sweep it under the rug as soon as possible. I hope I’m wrong.

No Soy de Aqui, Ni soy de Alla: Respect for the Life and Music of Facundo Cabral

4 Aug

Facundo Cabral – whose lyrics and music invoked the struggle in Latin America for human rights as well as spirituality, love and the human condition – was ambushed and shot dead in Guatemala on July 9.

The New York Times published this obituary.

Here’s to you señor Cabral