Saturday, November 22, 2003

Cuaderno Latinoamericano: Double Victory in Guatemala - Although now almost two weeks past, there is good news on two fronts in the democratic transformation of Latin America. Ex-Dictator General Efraim Rios Montt was handily defeated in the first round of the Guatemalan presidential elections. He didn't even muster enough votes to finish in contention for a run-off. In an apparently clean democratic election, Guatemalans voted decisively in large numbers to say "no" to the man responsible for the worst ethnic genocide in Guatemala's recent history. But the added bonus is that General Rios Montt, by running for president, had to abandon his position in the federal legislature which deprives him of immunity for prosecution for human rights abuses. Now, it appears that Rios Montt will have no way to avoid answering in a court of law for the human rights abuses his administration perpetrated on the long-suffering Guatemalan Indian communities. For another good take on this, see this report by the Chicago Tribune's Hugh Dellios for more details.

No comments: