Banana Republic and the CIA


Stop the War in Central America” by Mark Vallen – 1986

“In 1954, the U.S. State Department and the CIA sponsored a covert operation resulting in the overthrow of the democratically-elected Guatemalan President, Jacobo Arbenz…. From the 1950s until the 1990s, the U.S. directly supported Guatemala’s army by supplying it with combatant training, weaponry, and money. The U.S. sent the Green Berets to Guatemala to transform its Army into a “modern counter-insurgency force,”… The CIA also created a list…leaders who were targeted for assassination. The U.S. government used the potential threat of communism to justify its support for the Guatemalan government…Those Guatemalan personnel hired by the CIA were referred to as “assets.” As documented by the Guatemalan Historical Clarification Commission and the Intelligence Oversight Board, assets committed egregious acts of violence on the citizens of Guatemala including: “Mass indiscriminate killings defined as “genocide” by the Historical Clarification Commission. Arbitrary executions and Kidnappings. Widespread and systematic torture…executions. Policies of genocide such as the “Scorched Earth” operations”.

“…creation of 36-years of terror by successor dictators. This support included military training in counterinsurgent techniques, financing of actions resulting in human rights violations, and close collaboration with military intelligence units. According to the Historical Clarification Commission, 93% of human rights violations and acts of violence are attributable to the Army. The Historical Clarification Commission documents the following human rights violations committed by the Guatemalan State:

The deaths or disappearances of over 200,000 persons…over 600 massacres – The elimination of leaders of those organizations in defence of human rights – The mass extermination of defenceless Mayan communities, including children, women, and the elderly – Damage to many Mayan communities homes, cattle, crops, and other elements essential for survival – Multiple acts of cruelty and savagery either preceding, accompanying, or occurring after the deaths of the victims – A systematic practice of forced disappearances – The rape of women as a common practice – A systematic practice of arbitrary executions – Counterinsurgency tactics, including psychological warfare, propaganda, and intimidation – Death squads used to eliminate alleged members, allies, or collaborators of those considered “subversives” – Systematic denial of habeas corpus, continuous interpretation of the law favourable to the authorities, indifference to the torture of those detained, and limitations on the right to defence – Forced and discriminatory military recruitment, including minors under the age of fifteen – Failure of the Army to make the distinctions between the enemy and the civilian population – “Genocide” as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

In 1997…The Clarification Commissions exposure of U.S. complicity in Guatemala over the past 36 years prompted President Clinton to offer a formal and unequivocal apology on March 10, 1999.” Found at: Shepard Broad Law Center website of Nova Southeastern University, Florida