(or, How Did Genocide Happen in Our Backyard?). Guatemala: a human rights history. Q. How can it be that unarmed indigenous villagers are slaughtered by their own government?. How does genocide happen?. Q. How does genocide happen?. A. Black/white logic of Latin America’s war on terrorism
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a human rights history
How does genocide happen?
A. Black/white logic of Latin America’s war on terrorism
entrenched racism and structures of ethnic exclusion
US intervention in Guatemala planned by 2 brothers:
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles
(lawyer whose firm represented United Fruit)
CIA Director Allen Dulles
(former member of United Fruit’s Board of Trustees)
1995 study by CIA history staff analyst Gerald K. Haines
acknowledges and explains the CIA’s role in toppling the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954 and in “disposing” of “key government officials and Guatemalan Communists”
Declassified cable from CIA station in Guatemala City reporting execution of PGT leaders
(DCI Watch is a committee of the CIA)
discusses Guatemalan military’s plans to sweep through an area where many indigenous peasants support the guerrilla, and acknowledging that “it will be necessary to destroy a number of villages”
Feb 1982 CIA cable
Describes Army sweep through the same area discussed in document 4, noting that no major guerrilla forces had been found but that since the Army has concluded the entire Indian population is pro-guerrilla, “the Army can be expected to give no quarter to combatants and non-combatants alike” and the army has therefore destroyed “a large number” of guerrilla collaborators
Rio Negro, Guatemala slaughtered by their own government?
End of cold war, rise of human rights movement =>
The erroneous belief that the end justifies the means converted Guatemala into a country of death and sadness. It should be remembered, once and for all, that there are no values superior to the lives of human beings, and thereby superior to the existence and well-being of an entire national community. —Commission for Historical Clarification, 1999