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Apr 25, 2013

Guatemala still using old passport design; president accused of atrocities

Guatemala has proposed to open bids for the printing of four million new passports over the next ten years. Here in Belize, there has been a huge hue and cry because the passport would retain only a dotted line demarcating Belizean borders and carrying the words “territory under dispute.” The reports in Guatemala say that the printing of the passports has become necessary because for months that country has been without passports. According to press reports today, a stock of twenty thousand blank passports has now been delivered. However, there is other pressing news coming out of Guatemala. The trial of former president, Jose Efrain Rios Montt, for genocide committed with over one thousand seven hundred persons.  One of the men accused of being in charge of carrying out military action during the genocide was known as Tito. Tito has since been identified as current president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina. The trial has been shut down following allegations against the current president and it may start all over again with a new judge. During the time of Otto Perez’s military mission in the kill zone, an investigative reporter, Allan Nairn interviewed Tito and soldiers about the deaths. The following excerpt is from Nairn’s documentary about his September, 1982 interview with a soldier and who he has now identified as Perez Molina following helicopter bombings of the Ixil zone, an area surrounding the town of Nebaj.

 

Allan Nairn (Translated)

“This was in September of 1982 in the Ixil zone in the area surrounding the town of Nebaj. Bomb villages by helicopter. What is the largest amount of people you have killed at once?”

 

Guatemalan Soldier (Translated)

“Well, really, in Sololá, around five hundred people.”

 

Allan Nairn (Translated)

“And how do they react when you arrive?”

 

Guatemalan Soldier (Translated)

“Who?”

 

Allan Nairn (Translated)

“The people from the small villages.”

 

Guatemalan Soldier (Translated)

“When the army arrives, they flee from their houses. And so, as they flee to the mountains, the army is forced to kill them.”

 

Allan Nairn (Translated)

“And in which small village did the army do that kind of thing?”

 

Guatemalan Soldier (Translated)

“That happened a lot of times.”

 

Allan Nairn (Translated)

“Specifically, could you give me some examples where these things happened?”

 

Guatemalan Soldier (Translated)

“In Salquil, Sumal Chiquito, Sumal Grande, Acul.”

 

Allan Nairn (Translated)

“Yes, the senior officer, the commander in Nebaj, was a man who used the code name “Mayor Tito,” Major Tito. It turns out that that man’s real name was Otto Pérez Molina. Otto Pérez Molina later ascended to general, and today he is the president of Guatemala. So he is the one who was the local implementer of the program of genocide which Ríos Montt is accused of carrying out.”

 

Amy Goodman

“This is a huge charge. I mean, right now, it’s an historic trial when it’s 25 years after a past president is now being charged. Let’s go to a clip of Otto Pérez Molina, the current president of Guatemala, but this is 1982 in the heartland area of Quiché in northwest Guatemala, northwest of Guatemala City. In this video clip, Otto Pérez Molina is seen reading from political literature found on one of the bodies. This is your interview with him.”

 

Mayor Otto Pérez Molina (Translated)

“The poor artisan fights alongside the worker. The poor peasant fights alongside the worker. The wealth is produced by us, the poor. The army takes the poor peasants. Together, we have an invincible force. All the families are with the guerrilla, the guerrilla army of the poor, toward final victory forever.” These are the different fronts that they have.”

 

Allan Nairn (Translated)

“So here they are saying that the army killed some people.”

 

Mayor Otto Pérez Molina (Translated)

“Exactly.”

 

Amy Goodman

“I mean, this is astounding. This is the current president of Guatemala standing over these bodies. Tell us more.”

 

Allan Nairn (Translated)

“Well, as one of the soldiers says in the sound in the background, the—Pérez Molina interrogated these men. And soon after, they were—they were dead. And one soldier told me off camera that in fact after Pérez Molina interrogated them, they finished them off.”

 

The full text of the interview can be found on the website, www.democracynow.org

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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10 Responses for “Guatemala still using old passport design; president accused of atrocities”

  1. cg says:

    Whatever you do in this life you pay for in this life…nothing goes unpunished…

  2. Storm says:

    Can any of us be surprised that the military dictatorship next door has blood on its hands?

    If the Guats ever seize Belize, there will be hell to pay for our our Mayans. We have what they want, and they have proved they will kill to get what they want.

    Belize must be prepared to defend itself.

  3. Storm says:

    Can any of us be surprised that the military dictatorship next door has blood on its hands?

    If the Guats ever seize Belize, there will be hell to pay for our Mayans. We have what they want, and they have proved they will kill to get what they want.

    Belize must be prepared to defend itself.

  4. not again says:

    If he can do this to his own people imagine what he have plan for Belize? The man sorry the animal is sick on the head.

  5. alley cat says:

    I watched this documentary on Monday and thought why are we not showing this in Belize? Thank you Channel 5, this is who we are dealing with. This government needs to tighten up, our adversary are world class killers. 300K of their own people wiped off the face of the earth that is a little short of our entire population…

  6. jajaja says:

    I would not worry about it… Guatemala do not have the capabilities to move in and do anything. The US and British Forces will come in and kill them all. These folks just talk and try to intimidate like North Korea. Belize is well protected and that is why the Government is not worrying about it. Guatemala knows better if they make a stupid move. If that should happen Guatemala will be the NEW BELIZE and then we will have to know spanish.

  7. Anony-mouse says:

    The United States have never been in favor of Belize. They always favored Guatemala. And BS, the Government of Belize is not worried not because they are well prepared. BUT because they have planned a different agenda for Belize. Not an agenda of democracy, or nationalism, but a get rich agenda! They are not protecting the interest of Belizeans and Belize because at the end they and their communist agenda will have us all sold to Guatemala and divide the money among themselves. STAND UP BELZEANS! The real enemy isn’t Guatemala, but our GOVERNMENT!

  8. Neville says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the US to help us. With the Obama government, they are not helping any of their friends, and their enemies are on the march. And the US may side with Guatemala as between us, anyway.

  9. alley cat says:

    Remember the USA (JFK) promised to support Guatemala’s claim for Belize if in return they help train the Cubans for the bay of pigs invasion.

  10. Belizean Pride says:

    don’t worry fellow Belizeans if the u.s don;t help i guess castro and madura might be willing to give us a hand which might make u.s think twice.

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