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Old 11-18-2011   #1
Misifus
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Default Guatemala (catch all)

http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20111...d6d32bd4998fce

Congratulations to STRATFOR for an excellent article.

I haven't seen Otto Perez Molina since 1973. At that time he was a tactical officer at Escuela Politecnica de Guatemala (La Antigua), which is the nation's military academy. "La Antigua" refers to the old location of the school on Av. La Reforma, Zona 10 in Guatemala City. The school is now out in the countryside at San Juan Sacatapequez. I have contributed to his presidential campaigns in the past and am glad to see he has finally gotten himself elected. Gen. Perez Molina is also the officer who brokered and signed the peace that ended Guatemala's long civil war. His background is military intelligence branch, however he is also a combat veteran.

I expect Gen. Perez Molina will move strongly and quickly to stamp out crime in Guatemala. He has run on a platform of using la mano dura to defeat crime.

The article linked is worth discussing. I can offer some personal observations and experience on some of the topics of the article. These would be concerning Kaibiles, Central America and Mexico in general, and street gangs in Los Angeles.

For starters, I find it remarkable that STRATFOR was able to hone in on the subject of the landed gentry in Guatemala. Also one should keep in mind that Kaibiles have been recruited by Zetas.

Last edited by Misifus; 11-18-2011 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 11-18-2011   #2
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I expect Gen. Perez Molina will move strongly and quickly to stamp out crime in Guatemala. He has run on a platform of using la mano dura to defeat crime.
Wasn’t that Calderón’s plan, too?

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Also one should keep in mind that Kaibiles have been recruited by Zetas.
En cuestiones de plata y plomo, the cárteles can come to the fight just as well armed and they are always going to be able to offer a nicer payday. I’m not pro-appeasement by any means, but I just don’t see why at this point anyone thinks drug-related violence can be ended without some serious work on the demand side.
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Last edited by ganulv; 11-18-2011 at 06:14 PM. Reason: typo fix
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Old 11-18-2011   #3
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Wasn’t that Calderón’s plan, too?
That's a good point. I opine that Guatemala is a little bit tighter knit than Mexico by the simple fact that it is smaller. In addition, Gen Perez Molina being retired military and having been very active in Guatemala's insurgency is a soldier's soldier. Calderon has no such experience. OTOH Gen Perez Molina actually knows how to gather intelligence, how to employ troops, and how to kill the bad guys. He's done it himself.

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En cuestiones de plata y plomo, the cárteles can come to the fight just as well armed and they are always going to be able to offer a nicer payday. I’m not pro-appeasement by any means, but I just don’t see why at this point anyone thinks drug-related violence can be ended without some serious work on the demand side.
I opine the cartels are NOT as well armed. Though they do have formidable arsenals.

I agree with you 100% on the demand side of the issue. Why should Mexicans die just so Gringos can get high? We, the USA, are the world's largest consumer of illegal narcotics. More evidence that our culture is slowly working its way down the toilet swirl.
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Old 11-18-2011   #4
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Default One Guy vs. Systemic Problem

Calderon is probably clean and untouchable; but what good is that when everyone else around him becomes tainted by narco-money? How can Gen. Perez Molina avoid the same fate?
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Old 11-18-2011   #5
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Calderon is probably clean and untouchable; but what good is that when everyone else around him becomes tainted by narco-money? How can Gen. Perez Molina avoid the same fate?
That's a really good question.

I guess it's really the test of nation, not of Calderon and not of Perez Molina. It's something that we in the US have to ask ourselves also. How can our leaders reduce the use of drugs in the US, when everybody around us wants to get high?

It's pithy for us to say that "good leadership" can solve this, but a cultural slide is a cultural slide. It may be that the cultural processes are too strong both on the user and the seller side for this to be overcome by the single-man leadership model.
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Old 05-11-2013   #6
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Blast from the past...

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/former-guat...012409900.html

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Former Guatemala dictator Rios Montt found guilty of genocide

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest phase of the country's 36-year civil war and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

Hundreds of people who were packed into the courtroom burst into applause, chanting, "Justice!" as he received a 50-year term for the genocide charge and an additional 30 years for crimes against humanity.

It was the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country.

Rios Montt, 86, took power after a coup in 1982 and was accused of implementing a scorched-earth policy in which troops massacred thousands of indigenous villagers. He proclaimed his innocence in court.
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Old 05-11-2013   #7
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Blast from the past...

Former Guatemala dictator Rios Montt found guilty of genocide

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/former-guat...012409900.html
Could not have happened to a nicer guy.
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Old 05-11-2013   #8
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I guess they hadn't invented "pop-centric" yet.

But wait, isn't this the guy that Saint Ronald of Reagan said was "totally dedicated to Democracy"?
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Old 05-11-2013   #9
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I guess they hadn't invented "pop-centric" yet.
Well, Rios Montt did have the beans (for those toeing the government line) or bullets (for everyone else) thing. The civil war might have been shortened if he had been as dedicated to keeping the first part of the promise as he was to keeping the second.

It seems to me that history is telling us that the absolutely ruthless ways that the Guatemalan and Sri Lankan governments took to counterinsurgency are more likely to be successful than any post-9/11 COIN 2.0. And both of those still took decades!

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But wait, isn't this the guy that Saint Ronald of Reagan said was "totally dedicated to Democracy"?
One of the things an Estonian friend of mine and I share in common is time spent in Guatemala. He once told me, "You know how much I love Reagan and how much I appreciate what he did for my country, but he was dead wrong on Central America."
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Last edited by ganulv; 05-11-2013 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 05-12-2013   #10
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One of the things an Estonian friend of mine and I share in common is time spent in Guatemala. He once told me, "You know how much I love Reagan and how much I appreciate what he did for my country, but he was dead wrong on Central America."
Coming from another place where Reagan had it dead wrong, it was a bit jarring to encounter Eastern Europeans who thought he was absolutely wonderful. Eventually realized, of course, that different places have different perspectives, and policies that were disastrous in one place may have been effective in others.

I vividly remember the day when (then VP) Bush I praised Ferdinand Marcos for his adherence to democracy and to democratic principles. I introduced myself as a Canadian for a while.
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