Friday, March 2, 2012

Guatemala judge denies ex-dictator's amnesty claim

A few quick hits...

Efrain Rios Montt is one step closer to trial as a Guatemalan judge denied his lawyer's argument that he could not be tried because of a 1986 amnesty law. The National Catholic Reporter also had an article out two weeks ago on the former dictator that I never got around to writing about.

Tablet Magazine had a little write-up on Israel's relationship with Guatemala and there's at least one quote in there that backs up my unpopular stance that the US wasn't entirely to blame for the violence perpetrated by the Guatemalan army during the 1980s.
“The Israeli soldier is the model for our soldiers,” proclaimed the chief of staff of the Guatemalan army announced. In 1982, Efraín Ríos Montt—the country’s first evangelical president and a general whose military regime was installed by a coup—told ABC News that his success was due to the fact that “our soldiers were trained by Israelis.”
The US was obviously involved but I disagree with much of the commentary that I've read, particularly on my Al Jazeera post about Rios Montt, that describes the Guatemalan government as a puppet government of the US. There's other anecdotal stories where Guatemala's military only said they would come to the US for training if they were the trainers because they had nothing to learn from the Americans.

James Frederick has a post on the availability of decent coffee in Guatemala for the Tico Times.
Guatemalan farmers grow some of the best coffee in the world. But until now, it was uncommon for them to drink their own product.
I enjoy the coffee shops in Guatemala and El Salvador but it's never a good feeling dropping $2 on a cup of coffee when so many people don't have that much to live on each day.

1 comment:

  1. On your last point about the coffee, I know that feeling. But on the other hand, if you're supporting local businesses that way... now, drinking Starbucks in Lima - a whole different ballgame!