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Impunity as Elected OfficialEdit

I deleted a sentence that claimed that as a congressman, Montt is immune from prosecution. Although the press (such as Prensa Libre) frequently reports that this is the case under the Guatemalan Judicial system, the law actually states that immunity cannot be applied retroactively, and current elected officials are still vulnerable to prosecution for previous offenses. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.147.176.66 (talk) 01:50, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

CongressEdit

The article should specify when exactly he was president of the Congress. It just says he was elected in 1994, but I don't think he held that post all the time through 2004. NoPuzzleStranger 20:56, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

I am pretty sure he did hold the post until mid 2003 when he gave it up in order to run for President. I would have to check to be sure, but that is what I think, and he clearly was head until that point, as it was Portillo as President and Rios as head of Congress that ruled Guatemala for mosst of Portillo's presidency, SqueakBox 21:00, May 29, 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'm also sure he held the post in 2003, but all the time from 1994? It seems he was president on (at least) two separate occasions. In 1999, for example, Leonel López Rodas appears to have held the post [1]. NoPuzzleStranger 21:19, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Children.Edit

A pox on all your houses. Seriously. --Dhartung | Talk 19:53, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

U.S. tiesEdit

the article clearly overstates Montt's own personal ties to the U.S. it says "over five decades" despite the fact that Dhartung here already demonstrated that Montt did not play a role in the actual coup. U.S. ties can be shown without exaggeration J. Parker Stone 21:18, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

He had ties to the U.S. five decades ago, regardless of the coup. You know where he was getting training. 172 21:23, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Roberto D'Aubuisson was trained at the SOA too, and last I checked he and his fellow counterrevolutionaries were peeved at us for helping Duarte win the '84 election. And wasn't Peru's Socialist president (at one time) trained there as well? Point being, this whole attempt to chain him to the U.S. in a myriad of ways (Robertson, SOA, successive administrations (which weren't too preoccupied with Guatemala...)) is overblown and POV. J. Parker Stone 21:36, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

i'm dying to hear a response. a master historian should be able to provide ample documentation of such lucrative 50-year ties to the U.S. (and by documentation, i don't mean lefty sites like Cooperative Research) J. Parker Stone 23:30, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

And the U.S. would come to oppose Montt in his last bid for the presidency, which does not mean that the five decades before that point ought to go ignored. As for sources, read the books listed in the references. You could have been doing that over the past year instead of reverting the same few passages from this article over and over again. They are the materials with which I am familiar on Guatemala. I haven't even heard of "Cooperative Research," so I don't even understand your insult. 172 07:10, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Cooperative Research was the site linked to to explain the UFC-Arbenz thing... Anyway, i don't have time to read these books, but i do know that these ties are just not as extensive as you claim, and you have provided no proof otherwise. J. Parker Stone 08:07, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I did not add that link. (I'd thought that that sentence was citing LaFeber, but perhaps I was wrong.) If you doubt the UFC-Arbenz claim, I can draft a reading list for you extensive enough to pack an entire course. 172 08:25, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

well good for you. i never denied it, i just said that i didn't think going in-depth was relevant to this article. J. Parker Stone 23:54, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC) - These edits caught me by surprise --the edits/article that stated that Rios Mont came into power without CIA/US intervention. I can't argue for or against - literature can show bias either way. However, I was in Guatemala at the time. The rumors and feeling from many 'connected' was that the CIA was part of the coup to put Montt in power, flying the group from El Salvador to Guatemala City with CIA behind-the-scenes action. True or not, I don't know, but is probably as accurate as biased writings. Regardless, Montt can't be solely blamed for the mass killings. Massacres and village killings was also occuring before Montt took over the government. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.52.47.243 (talk) 01:28, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

No time to readEdit

Trey Stone, you say "i don't have time to read these books, but i do know that these ties are just not as extensive as you claim, and you have provided no proof otherwise." I don't see a lot of cites to any particular passages in those books being made in the article, but simply saying you don't have time to research an article and that "YOU KNOW" something is unacceptable. How do you know? Fred Bauder 18:58, Jun 18, 2005 (UTC)

as i have said, it is not based on whether the claims are true (which I don't doubt) but whether they're well-placed or meaningful. J. Parker Stone 23:55, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
oh, as for my point that I thought 172 was overdoing the U.S. connection -- the simple fact is that besides the '54 coup and the '80s (which was more Nicaragua and El Salvador anyway) i don't recall a time when the U.S. paid any particular heed to the politics inside Guatemala. J. Parker Stone 23:57, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Events inside Guatemala have always been an object of intense concern to the United States, at least since it nearly went communist. Fred Bauder 01:35, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)
really? as far as I know we were mostly focused on Cuba and Vietnam in the '60s and '70s. our attention to Latin America was directed mostly at the Southern Cone during the late '70s. it wasn't until the '80s that revolution in Central America began to become a problem. J. Parker Stone 23:45, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That was the focus of the media, the CIA keeps better notes. Fred Bauder 00:04, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
i've never seen anything suggesting that outside of a few covert initiatives, the CIA was substantially involved in Guatemala following the 1954 coup. J. Parker Stone 00:25, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You really need to do your homework. I'd start with Bitter Fruit [2]. -- Viajero | Talk 07:50, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
can you guys give me actual data instead of just saying "you need to read this?" i acknowledge that U.S. corporations may've been interested in Guatemala for some time, but i don't know of any substantial U.S. involvement since 1954. J. Parker Stone 08:07, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The operant words in that comment are "I don't know." The remedy is to do some research. I am no expert on Guatemala so I can't give you book and page, or vouch for the books 172 directed you to, but I know a lot has been written. In some areas, for example, Tibet, there are books written by former CIA employees which contain considerable detail. I don't think permission has been given to those who worked on Guatemala, but there is still a great deal of information that can be found in public sources both pro and con. There is no excuse for aggressively editing an article if you are not willing or able to familiarize yourself with the references which concern the field. You wouldn't try to do that in an article on physics or mathematics, what makes you think you can do it here? Fred Bauder 13:12, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
look, when you make a controversial statement like "this coup was quietly backed by the CIA" I expect it to be backed up with a citation or quote. this has not been done, so i have removed it. J. Parker Stone 20:27, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Not being aware that the contention of "quiet" CIA backing was deleted eight years ago, I edited and used a source to refer to the same contention. My edit was deleted without comment, replaced with a comment that the CIA was not involved, referring to a book as a source. There was no way to check that assertion without reading the book and referring to some original source, but it seems quite clear that it is most unlikely that CIA non-involvement could be somehow proven. What is clear and well documented is that the CIA was involved in the country's politics for over half a century, so it would be a likely aberration if it were not involved in the '82 coup. I then went to the history provided by other editors, read the original Allen Nairn piece and could not find any source for the involvement contention. Certainly, there was no basis for any contention that the CIA was not in fact involved. Activist (talk) 15:17, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
After removing the unprovable contention, that the CIA was not involved in the 1982 coup, I lost my internet connection as I went to Talk to express my reasoning. When it was restored, I laid out the case. Simply providing the name of a book to allege disinvolvement by the CIA in the 1982 coup is not a reasonable source. Please provide original documentation. As I'd said in my Talk comments, I can't imagine that you can prove the CIA wasn't involved, so my edit was quite appropriate. Activist (talk) 15:29, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Reverting an edit without discussing the matter on the talk page, but merely referring to a supposed "source" in the subject line of the edit seems highly irregular. Please observe Wiki policies and protocols. Activist (talk) 15:36, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Another editor has restored an assertion that it probably unprovable, but certainly has not been properly sourced, and claim that my deletion of it is WP:OR. I have just looked at the Oxford chapter abstracts for the text cited as a source and there is no foundation that the US was unaware of the launching of the coup nor that it was not involved. I'm not going to buy the book but would encourage anyone to do so if they want to persist in these impermissible restorations. I even went to the source provided by another editor in case there was mention of the situation, but that author, the esteemed reporter Allan Nairn (whose work on the Indonesian invasion of East Timor is coincidentally being discussed on TV as I'm writing this note), did not discuss the specifics As an alternative, that editor is free to refer this to a notice board, of course. But I'm asking that editor to be responsible and to follow Wikipedia policy. Activist (talk) 16:37, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
No, I cited the source correctly. Here is what the book says: "When the Lucas cabal was overthrown in the March 23 golpe de estado, the United States was not involved and, in fact, had not even seen the coup coming. The embassy did not at first grasp the origins or the implications of the coup, incorrectly concluding the Movimiento de Liberacion Nacional had instigated it and that the coup leaders, Rios Montt in particular, were nothing more than figureheads representing the interests of the Far Right." This book is the only full-length, scholarly biography of Rios Montt ever written and the author, Virginia Garrard-Burnett, is a distinguished and well-qualified professor of history. Granted, it is a fairly detailed biography and the great majority of history books on Guatemala which discuss Rios Montt don't go out of their way to deny that America was involved in his coup. It may be reasonable to leave the article as it is without explicitly pointing out that the occurrence of the coup took the United States government by surprise. Either way, it's important that we don't say that the United States was complicit, because such a statement would be contrary to what all reliable sources state.CurtisNaito (talk) 01:24, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

I've gotten confirmation that the purported source that the U.S. and CIA weren't involved in the 1982 coup contains no such exoneration. It's completely bogus. I'll leave info on the most recent reverter's talk page.

That is controversial to you, not to those of us who know our history. -- Viajero | Talk 20:43, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
you're doing the same thing Bauder has accused me of -- saying "I know" without providing any proof. CIA backing in instances such as Operation PBSUCCESS and the 1973 Chilean coup has been well-documented. CIA backing of the 1982 Guatemalan coup has not been established J. Parker Stone 20:46, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That might well be true, but I'm talking about your problems, not his. Calling the kettle black is no help. Fred Bauder 21:05, Jun 21, 2005 (UTC)
i was addressing him. and when you make a statement like "the CIA helped Montt take power in '82" the burden of proof is on you, not me. J. Parker Stone 07:18, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough. But the constructive response would be to list such issues on the talk page and ask the contributor (in this case 172) to supply citations. Instead, you assume that you know better than him (an extraordinary presumption for a high-school student) and pursue these quixotic revert wars in which you achieve nothing except (eventually) getting yourself banned. -- Viajero | Talk 11:36, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
there's nothing "extraordinary" about asking for a citation on a claim that's not widely known or accepted. J. Parker Stone 06:04, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Enough, I give up. I have been through these kinds of discussions with you before and they are a complete waste of time; it is impossible to engage in rational, meaningful discourse with you. You follow up my comment with a complete non-sequitur, implying I said something that was a total opposite of what I actually wrote. Did you actually read my comment? Fred is right. You aren't ready to edit in this environment. Henceforth, I will be taking my cue from Davenbelle, Mel E, 172, and the (many) others: revert and move on. There are more useful and satisfying things to do on Wikipedia than arguing with a self-righteous, headstrong teenager. -- Viajero | Talk 14:08, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
i don't assume i know better than 172; i'm sure he's quite well-read and experienced on several subjects. the problem is that he sometimes uses his expertise to justify wording in articles that is naturally POV and is particularly cold and unreceptive to those who object to such edits. J. Parker Stone 02:10, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
On the subject of Bitter Fruit:
"Bitter Fruit received great accolades in the mainstream press. One awed reviewer exclaimed, "It's a fantastic yarn--yet it all actually happened."20 In truth, Schlesinger and Kinzer's study relied on selective and circumstantial evidence, some of it highly disputable.21 Richard Bissell, the CIA official who directed PBSUCCESS, later recalled, "I never heard Allen Dulles discuss United Fruit's interests."22 Adolf A. Berle told Costa Rican leader José Figueres: "Of course, we expected American rights to be protected, including the United Fruit Company; but the United Fruit Company's interests were secondary to the main interests."
http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ht/34.1/streeter.html

Mattm1138 23:22, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

On the CIA connection post 1954Edit

A good summary of CIA involvement is here [3]. Journalist Allan Nairn went and asked all the old dictators what their connections to the CIA were, and they were quite candid. Notmyrealname 03:16, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Mea culpaEdit

I just edited this article; sorry, didn't see the protected notice. Here's the diff. Can that be allowed to stand (links added and one or two wording tweaks), or must it be reverted? Hajor 5 July 2005 15:43 (UTC)

Decided it was better to revert myself. No hurry to add those links. Hajor 5 July 2005 15:44 (UTC)
The article has been protected for 2 and a half weeks now. I can't see how keeping it protected any longer is going to help, so please can it be unprotected, SqueakBox July 5, 2005 16:24 (UTC)
i'd like it to be protected until certain people stop stonewalling on Talk. otherwise the same thing is gonna happen. J. Parker Stone 6 July 2005 01:25 (UTC)

DiscussionEdit

172 is working on other stuff right now, so I'll just post this for when he feels like looking back at this article.

My issues with the article essentially are:

  • The "he's had ties for 50 years" deal. Now technically, this may be true, considering he received training from the SOA way back in the '50s. But as Dhartung pointed out, there's no evidence he played any real role in PBSUCCESS. And during the civil war, how close was the CIA really? The CIA maintained loads of contacts inside Guatemala I'm sure, but my point is how was Ríos different from other military figures. Now during the '80s he certainly was close to the religious right and received support from the Reagan admin. And do we have documentation on CIA support for his coup.
  • What the SOA's purpose was in the '50s. This was before JFK had switched the focus to counterinsurgency in the wake of the Cuban Revolution. I'm assuming it was just to train cadets that would maintain our interests in the region, but this should be clarified.
  • The racist thing. I don't doubt this, but is this just a suspicion, or are there statements from government officials that imply this. Even so, I think it's mentioned twice, and we only need to mention it once -- that is, Mayans were deliberately targeted with the excuse of counterinsurgency even when the government knew they were perfectly innocent.
  • Going in-depth on Jacobo Arbenz -- can't we just say he was overthrown by the CIA, and leave the UFC-Dulles shenanigans to the PBSUCCESS and Arbenz articles. I think there are better ways to allude to U.S. economic and corporate interests within Guatemala.
  • That's all I can remember for now, though I do agree with 172 on his previous argument (long while back) with SqueakBox -- "rob the rich" rhetoric does not automatically make you leftist (172 had a good point about the paleocons in the U.S. who do the same thing) J. Parker Stone 01:58, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

On his denial that he knew about the massacres -- I don't know if we need to include this. Pinochet said the same thing in a Miami interview i think, about how he didn't know about the torture and disappearances occurring under the junta. of course they're gonna deny it.

on "genocidal neo-fascist" -- not to get overly technical here, i know he's widely regarded as genocidal, but do his opponents make as much of a point of calling him a "neo-fascist?" J. Parker Stone 00:33, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

If you are trying to pin point ideology on a Guatemalan party forget it, its imposible. From first hand experience I can tell you that all politics break up into two big parties very fast. First you have the party of the peasants which is left hanging and then you have the party of the land barons and middle class which is right hanging. I can tell you that such lables as "genocidal neo-facist" are irrelevant, and guatemalan politics will no longer break into ideological battles. The reason that Rios Mont has a fair chance at beeing elected president an the reason that the constitutional court skillfully blocked it, is that most Guatemalans regard Rios Monts presidency as a time of safety; the guerrillas where being represed, as the page says "urban centers knew a time of peace" (or something along those lines). Guatemala now is ridden with viloence by organized crime especially gangs, and druglords. Guatemalans want to see peace imposed with an iron hand, there have been direct calls by communities to the military to come and take over, that is the situation. Some believe that Rios Mont with his Evangelical morals will bring peace and stability.

Please take the old coot from the facist category, not all genocide is Hitler inspired. His clear support is for the masses, his party base are the masses, if anything I would call him a populist.

I also dispute the claim that what happened during the armed conflict was a genocide, there never was an intention to exterminate (second hand testimonial from a military colonel) only a deeply seeded racism. It would be comparable to the NYC mayor deciding to stomp out crime and going after all the blacks in the Bronx.

(im Guatemalan in case ur wandering) --SvenGodo 06:44, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

"not all genocide is Hitler- inspired" - neither is all facism. One of the strongest features facist dictators have in common is an overwhelming, pseudo- religious populism that also characterizes Mr. Rios Montt. Yet I find it more delicate to describe the so- called "model- villages" (as errected by Rios Montt and afterwards by some evangelical organizations from the US) as concentration camps, even though amnesty international does it. Yes, these villages are inhuman, they are an act of violation against primary human rights and even a part of an attempted genocide. Yes, they may be comparable to the original concentration- camps brought up by the British empire in their colonies, or even the first camps the Nazis built in Germany. But after Auschwitz one must be very careful to use this term on anything. Not all genocide is Hitler- inspired.--Ginness (talk) 08:08, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
As in all things Wikipedia, all that matters is whether reliable sources can back up a specific claim. Regarding the charges of genocide, this was a charge specifically detailed in the Truth Commission report. See sections 108 to 123. The charge was that the military under his rule was trying to annihilate specific indigenous groups, mostly the Achí.Notmyrealname (talk) 18:06, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

small mistake under presidential candidate 2003Edit

There's a small mistake:

Under the "Presidential candidate 2003" section, in the 6th paragraph. Change where it says Oscar Berger ran for the PAN party, in truth, it is the "GANA" party. PAN was his old party, and the GANA was the alliance of 3 different parties.

Get currentEdit

""Though, with Guatemala still very much a military ruled state run by an elitist group of whites, it is doubtful Rios Montt will ever be brought to justice. ""

Guatemala is now-a-days a democracy (some civil rights groups seem to have overlooked this fact) we have had 3 succesfull electons cycles and we are moving on our 4th on 2007. We are not "a military ruled state" and might i point out that the 1996 peace agreements made shure to cut the balls off of the military.

I have no objections to the "an elitist group of whites" part I consider it to be an accurate assesment.

(im guatemalan in case ur wandering) --SvenGodo 06:40, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

I am just curious as to who these "elitist whites" are. If you have a viable source you can cite of someone well known saying this then maybe you could some how work it into the artice. Wikipedia is not a place to push a POV as I'm sure you already know. I am immediately removing it from the article.4giron 13:40, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I object, if all whites in Guatemala were the elite it would be fine but that is clearly not the case, SqueakBox 20:07, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

name changeEdit

if you want to change the name please first give your reasons here. The Spanish version says Efraín [4], SqueakBox 20:04, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

nicknameEdit

Should include the sarcastic nickname "Dios" Montt, which was widely reported in newspaper stories in the 1980s. AnonMoos (talk) 02:39, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

does he have any indian blood?Edit

he is accused of killing mayan indians as 'genocide', so i am curious what all his own blood is.

To my knowledge, he does not. I could be mistaken, though. Josh (talk) 03:07, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Incorrect edit?Edit

The most recent edit talks about events in 2016 but cites an article from 2013. I think the editor may have misread the 2013 article (specifically, misreading the date), but I don't know enough about the subject to say with any certainty. Hopefully this can get attention from someone who knows more about the subject.

50.100.2.196 (talk) 00:24, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

I apologize deeply for the misunderstanding. I have reverted my edit, and requested an administrator to oversight the edit given that since the conviction was annulled and he has not been convicted since then, it is a gross BLP violation which should also not be in the history.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 01:38, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

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Add to Category:Genocide perpetrators?Edit

I was thinking of adding him to the Category:Genocide perpetrators. Would that be allowed, or would it be considered potentially libelous, given that he is still alive? Josh (talk) 03:04, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

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"His Excellency" the Illegal President and ConvictEdit

Isn't it a gotspe to honour a man who only became president by committing a coup and then had many innocent people killed with the epithet of "His Excellency" (in the box)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Retal (talkcontribs) 21:51, 18 August 2018 (UTC)

In Wikipedia there is a neutral point of view policy. Thinker78 (talk) 00:22, 20 August 2018 (UTC)
Return to "Efraín Ríos Montt" page.