Guatemala:Israel Assassinated Bishop Gerardi,supplied murder suspect otto perez 'tito' molina with mortars etc.
to massacre innocent mayan people
I actually saw him in action once: he was pointing a fifty-millimeter machinegun at me from the back of an Israeli jeep on the streets of Nebaj back in the early 1980s, when I had sneaked in behind army lines. Even then he was demanding, strict, and highly disciplined with both himself and his troops — a level of discipline I most appreciated because he didn’t shoot me. Rather, he gave me a pass to the other Ixil towns of Chajul and Cotzal. But that isn’t why I’m defending him against Casas-Zamora’s argument.....
= Paul Goepfert
( Paul Goepfert is or was defending Otto Perez Molina because like the booze pushers Michael 'Hussein' Tallon and his butt buddie the NOT Semitic 'white Jew' John 'Tyronasaurus' Rexer are sick NY Zionists like Donald Trump who they pretend to
detest.Tallon's father was U.S.military 'intelligence' meaning a stup corrupt ahole before the Zionist Jews of NY funded his election to NY politics,etc..Rexer worked for Jewish Zionist scumbag Carl Icahn who is connected to Saudi arms dealer money launderer Adnan Kashoggi and vulture fund shake down artist Paul Singer,ET.AL.
9/11,Carl Icahn,Adnan Khashoggi:Did Paul Singer Use Money From ...
25 nov. 2014 - 9/11,Carl Icahn,Adnan Khashoggi:Did Paul Singer Use Money From ... In he very year, 2001, that Paul Singer's hedge fund or vulrture fund bought Argentinian bonds at fire ....Genesis Intermedia... a lot of money with Adnan Khashoggi's .... Paul Singer(hedge fund guy who virually invented vulture funds) if ...
Argentina:Paul Singer,Carl Icahn,Saudi Adnan Khashoggi y ...
29 nov. 2012 - Argentina:Paul Singer,Carl Icahn,Saudi Adnan Khashoggi y ...... Corp. y Producción, Genesis Media Group, Propiedades Genesis Genesis Intermedia; ... California Scheming:Rudy Giuliani,Paul Singer,Vulture Funds Africa, ...
Argentina:US Now Protecting Paul Singer Money Laundering Jew ...
7 oct. 2015 - Paul Singer,major NY International Jewish Zionist Vulture Financial mafia boss ... 9/11,Carl Icahn,Adnan Khashoggi:Did Paul Singer Use . ... Nov 25, 2014 - Inc. Trading in the stock of Genesis Intermedia was halted in .
California Scheming:Rudy Giuliani,Paul Singer, Vulture Funds Africa ...
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9 oct. 2007 - In many ways it is Adnan Khashoggi as well as Paul Singer who are financing the ... By vulture funds:paul singer,w bush,r giuliani fleecing on 10/4/2007 7:54:49 PM ..... westgate carl icahn elliot associates paul singer .... Genesis Intermedia; GenesisIntermedia.com.; Genesis Delaware; Genesis Florida.
political and science rhymes: Guatemala:Israel Assassinated Bishop ...
25 abr. 2016 - Guatemala:Israel Assassinated Bishop Gerardi - Francisco Goldman,Paul .... FRANCISCO GOLDMAN: The vagrant, Ruben Chanax, who years later, ..... del EMP que posteriormente se conocería como Rubén Chanax Sontay, ..
political and science rhymes: Guatemala:Israel Assassinated Bishop ...
25 abr. 2016 - By Paul Goepfert ... back of anIsraeli jeep on the streets of Nebaj back in ... Video forperez molina jeep israel quiche ▷ 0: . ... quote from Paul ...
tostaduria antigua: Antigua Guatemala.Jewish White Supremicist ...
tostaduriaantigua.blogspot.com/.../antigua-guatemalajewish-white.... - Traducir esta página
26 abr. 2015 - Jewish White Supremicist Anne Paddock Proud Of Israel's Role And Profits In The Mass ... brought in by the current president General Perez Molina. .... The very armed American-Israeli jeep that Molina rode upon in Quiche . ... Note that my quote from Paul Goepfert and La Cuadra above is not with the .
9/11,Guatemala,Dangerous Israeli Uri Roitman Issues Passports ...
25 feb. 2016 - ... inGuatemala at the ... Video for perez molina jeep israel quiche ▷ 0: . ... quote from Paul Goepfert,lacuadra.com. Anomalías en contrato ...
political and science rhymes: Guatemala:Israel Assassinated Bishop ...
25 abr. 2016 - Guatemala:Israel Assassinated Bishop Gerardi - Francisco Goldman,Paul .... Note that my quote from Paul Goepfert and La Cuadra above is not with the . .... FRANCISCO GOLDMAN: The vagrant, Ruben Chanax, who years later, ..... del EMP que posteriormente se conocería como Rubén Chanax Sontay, ...
Pérez Molina busca de tecnología en su visita a Israele tecnología en ...
JERUSALEM - Pérez Molina también realizará en principio una breve visita a la ... En Israel será recibido mañana con todos los honores protocolarios en la ...
Fransisco Goldman publica ahora el resultado de ocho años de investigación en torno al caso Gerardi. Entrevistas sostenidas en México, Guatemala, Estados Unidos y Europa, convierten al autor en un detective que entrega su reporte final en El arte de un asesinato político ¿quién mató al obispo?
“Cuando el libro de Bertrand de la Grange y Maite Rico, ¿Quién mató al obispo? desataba una tormenta en Guatemala, el presidente Portillo le pidió a los oficiales de inteligencia de su Estado Mayor Presidencial que averiguaran lo que pudieran respecto a quién estaba ayudando a los autores.
En su entrevista, Claudia Méndez le preguntó al capitán Lima sobre la historia del retén. “Hay quienes dicen que usted estaba tratando de recordarles algo a ellos en esa declaración. ¿Qué intentaba?”, preguntó la periodista.
El capitán Lima respondió que no intentaba nada, pero luego mencionó más nombres. Méndez le preguntó a quién admiraba, y además de mencionar al dictador chileno Augusto Pinochet, mencionó al general Otto PérezMolina, un oficial guatemalteco que, según Lima, siempre apoyaba a sus hombres. Méndez omitió este detalle del artículo publicado sin dimensionar su importancia.
Eventualmente, el general Pérez Molina había sido sospechoso de ser uno de los oficiales que habían acompañado al coronel Lima Estrada en la tienda de don Mike, la noche del crimen. Rafael Guillamón, de la Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala (Minugua), creía que existían posibilidades que fuera Pérez Molina el hombre que reclutó a Rubén Chanax Sontay para Inteligencia Militar.
Entrevista de periodista Allan Nairn con Mayor Otto 'Tito' Perez Molina durante un descansa de matando gente Maya innocente en los montanas de Guatemala en 1982.
ALLAN NAIRN: ¿Y qué tipo de morteros están usando ustedes?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: Bien, hay varios tipos de morteros, pero los que nosotros estamos usando en las aldeas pequeñas son los morteros Tampella.
ALLAN NAIRN: Tampella.
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: Sí, es un mortero de 60 milímetros.
ALLAN NAIRN: ¿Es muy poderoso? ¿Tiene mucha fuerza de destrucción?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: Sí, es un ama muy efectiva, muy útil y ha dado muy buenos resultados en las operaciones para la defensa del país.
ALLAN NAIRN: ¿Es un arma antipersonal o de qué clase?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: Sí, es arma contra personal.
ALLAN NAIRN: ¿Tienen alguna aquí?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: Sí. Aparte de eso que es muy liviana y es fácil de transportar, es fácil de operación también.
ALLAN NAIRN: Entonces es muy liviana, y pueden usarla con la mano, ¿sí?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: Exactamente, con la mano.
ALLAN NAIRN: ¿De dónde lo traen?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: Ese lo estamos trayendo de Israel, nos están abasteciendo.
ALLAN NAIRN: ¿Y dónde consiguen las municiones?
MAYOR OTTO PÉREZ MOLINA: La munición es israelita también.
De la presidencia a la prisión: Otto Pérez Molina y un día de ...
13 sep. 2015 - Otto Pérez Molina, quien renunció a la presidencia de Guatemala el miércoles ... escribió Jose Rubén Zamora, presidente del diario de oposición elPeriódico, .... El asesinato deGerardi, escenificado para que pareciera un delito ... caso, Rubén Chanax Sontay, tres oficiales del Ejército, ahora exoficiales, ...
El arte de un asesinato político, ¿quién mató ... - Mons. Juan Gerardi
24 abr. 2012 - Fransisco Goldman publica ahora el resultado de ocho años de ... obispo? desataba una tormenta en Guatemala, el presidente Portillo le pidió a los ... fuera Pérez Molina el hombre que reclutó a Rubén Chanax Sontay para ...
Mons. Juan Gerardi
24 abr. 2012 - Monseñor Juan José Gerardi Conedera, Obispo Auxiliar de la ... Hector Hugo PérezAguilera, el Director de MINUGUA Jean Arnault, el Fiscal del MP .... los alrededores del parque San Sebastián expresaron su temor pues la noche ... del EMP que posteriormente se conocería comoRubén Chanax Sontay.
Mons. Juan Gerardi: abril 2012
25 abr. 2012 - Gerardi fue asesinado brutalmente en la Parroquia San Sebastián de la .... Los indigentes del parque cercano al lugar del crimen habrían declarado contra él. ... desataba una tormenta en Guatemala, el presidente Portillo le pidió a los ... fuera Pérez Molina el hombre que reclutó a Rubén Chanax Sontay ...
Pasado oscuro - Proceso
www.proceso.com.mx › Edicion › Edicion Mexico
4 nov. 2007 - Gerardi fue golpeado hasta la muerte en el garaje de la casa parroquial en ... Goldmanentrevistó a Rubén Chanax Sontay, un exmilitar que afirmó haber ... miembro del EMP) en el parquey que le habían ordenado regresar a este lugar ... Goldman afirma que si Pérez Molina es elegidopresidente en las ...
From President to Prison: Otto Pérez Molina and a Day for Hope in ...
4 sep. 2015 - Francisco Goldman writes about Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina ... where, according to that key witness in the case, Rubén Chanax Sontay, .... As Pérez Molina ascended to power, the Gerardi case came to a halt, ...
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Galeria de corruptos chapines - Mi Bella Guatemala
Presidente de la República 2012 – 2016. Otto Fernando Pérez Molina, nació en la ciudad de Guatemala, el 1 de diciembre de 1950, ... El novelista Francisco Goldman escribió un libro titulado “El arte de un crimen político, ... que fuera Pérez Molina el hombre que reclutó a Rubén Chanax Sontaypara Inteligencia Militar.
Guatemala:Israel Assassinated Bishop Gerardi - Francisco Goldman ...
25 abr. 2016 - At the time of the murder, Perez Molina was the Guatemalan delgate to The . .... FRANCISCO GOLDMAN: The vagrant, Ruben Chanax, who years later, ..... El presidente Otto Pérez Molina afirmó que la captura de Camargo “es un .... del EMP que posteriormente se conocería comoRubén Chanax Sontay, ...
[PDF]Revista - IPNUSAC
LEGADO. “Victoria en Guatemala” (Caso Gerardi) ... Francisco Goldman. Escritor. .... Revista. El gobierno del presidente Otto Pérez Molina ha ...... apartarse del parque hasta las 10 esa noche, ... En la Corte Rubén Chanax Sontay agregó.
Arte Asesinato Politico Novela Policial - Scribd
Otros libros sobre el asesinato del Obispo Gerardi II. ..... El parque mismo. .... Cómo fue que averiguóGoldman que el ex Presidente guatemalteco es una ..... vez que se ventilaba públicamente queRubén Chanax acusaba a Pérez Molina de ..... que sostuvieron con Chanax Sontay. el libro de Francisco Goldman sobre el ...
Francisco Goldman :
I have a personal history with Pérez Molina that dates back to the murder, in 1998, of Bishop Juan Gerardi and the investigation and court cases that followed. Gerardi was bludgeoned to death inside his parish-house garage in Guatemala City two nights after presiding over the release of an unprecedented human-rights report titled “Guatemala: Never Again,” which delved into atrocities committed during the country’s civil war. The information contained in that report seemed to threaten the military’s self-granted amnesty from prosecution for war crimes and, by extension, its grip on real power, especially as exercised by its élite military intelligence groups. Indeed, though the Guatemalan Army soon afterward lost its amnesty after a subsequent U.N. Truth Commission report accused it of crimes against humanity—specifically, of having waged genocide against the indigenous Maya—very few such prosecutions of military officers went forward in a legal system still intimidated and corrupted by military power.
The Gerardi murder, staged to resemble a domestic crime, plunged the country’s population into years of confusion over what had actually occurred. But those for whom the murder’s message had been intended—human-rights and justice workers, especially—understood that message in their bones. It did not stop many of them from carrying the fight for justice forward, but following the Gerardi murder no one was under the illusion that it was going to be easier or less risky to achieve justice in peacetime than it had been before the signing of the 1996 peace accords.
I first began to report on the case in 1998, a few months after the murder, while writing a piece for this magazine; I ended up following that labyrinthine and fiercely contested case for another nine years, through a 2001 court trial and a long series of appeals. I finally published a book, in 2007, called “The Art of Political Murder,” in which I cite a central witness in the case who identified Pérez Molina as one of the masterminds of that murder plot.
When I was in Guatemala City, toward the end of July, that past introduced itself into the present in a way that forcefully reminded me that those events hadn’t been so long ago after all. I was attending the weekly Saturday protest in front of the National Palace with a friend, the renowned Mexican journalist and author Diego Osorno, who happened to be in town for the FILGUA, the Guatemalan book fair. He asked me to take him to see the church, San Sebastián, where, on the night of April 26, 1998, the bishop had been murdered. The church was only blocks away from the protests down Sexta Avenida. We walked past the Presidential offices and past the old headquarters of the Presidential Guard and the E.M.P., the Presidential Military Staff, the intelligence group that, during the 2001 trial, was found to have been the central actor in the murder. On the right, less than a block in front of the small park that faces San Sebastián Church, we passed a shadowy little tienda that was open behind its barred gates. This was don Mike’s, where, according to that key witness in the case, Rubén Chanax Sontay, three then-current and former military officers had been present on April 26th, around 10 P.M., to monitor the crime. Chanax, a slight but muscular indigenous man in his twenties, was ostensibly one of the indigents who slept in front of the church garage every night, but he was also a trained military-intelligence informer whose job it was to spy on the bishop’s movements as part of the so-called Operation Bird that culminated in the bishop’s murder. Don Mike, the little shop’s owner, who, according to Chanax, had stood chatting with the three officers as the moment of the murder approached, was rumored to be a military informer, too; at the 2001 murder trial, however, he refused to testify for either the prosecution or the defense.
As Osorno and I approached, I saw a grizzled, wiry, bearded, and long-haired man in a dirty T-shirt who was serving customers, passing sodas and such through the bars of his little shop. It was undoubtedly don Mike himself; I hadn’t seen him since 2001, but he was easy to identify by the missing fingers on one of his hands. I didn’t want to speak with him, almost as if I now had a physical aversion to the darker and more painful aspects of what had been my long involvement in that crime; I just wanted to hurry past. But Osorno, true to his insatiably curious nature, stopped to talk to him. “Are you don Mike?” he asked, and the suspicious and fearful-looking man behind the lowered gates denied that he was. He said instead that he was don Mike’s son, even after a young customer approached and greeted him as “don Mike.” Osorno nonetheless began to question him about the night of the murder, which led don Mike quickly into a brief succession of revealing statements. “What a bunch of liars those judges and prosecutors were, you see where this shop is! How could they see what was happening from here?” he said, referring to the powerful military-intelligence officials who had supposedly come to his shop to monitor the carrying out of that extremely risky political assassination. “You can’t see the church from here!”
But I, like don Mike, had been present the day in 2001, during the Gerardi case trial, when the tribunal of judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys had travelled from the courtroom to the little tienda for an evidentiary procedure, while police sharpshooters stood guard atop surrounding rooftops. I remembered how the prosecutor, Leopoldo Zeissig, had left the shop, crossed the street at a slight diagonal to the opposite sidewalk, and established clearly that, from where he stood, he could see directly into the park and to San Sebastián Church and its parish house garage. Now don Mike told Diego Osorno and me, “Look at all the people walking past here on the sidewalk, who’s going to believe that any military officers would do that here, with so many witnesses around?” But, of course, this was a Saturday afternoon, and the crowded sidewalk included many people coming from the festive protest against Pérez Molina taking place nearby—punk-rock bands were performing in the plaza in front of the National Palace that day. In 1998, late on a Sunday night, only blocks from the country’s most-feared military intelligence installations, there was no one out on these sidewalks. Why was don Mike making such farfetched assertions, which could easily have fooled anyone who didn’t know the details of the crime? Because he still embodies a time when nobody dared to accuse the Guatemalan Army of anything, when such dissembling was rote. At night, don Mike, even though his shop is still open, turns off all the lights and stands in the darkness behind the barred gates, knowing that passersby can’t see him, though he is standing there looking out. His ongoing fear and paranoia were palpable. He was like a figure frozen in time.
The June, 2001, trial resulted in the first-ever convictions of Guatemalan military officers for a state-sponsored execution. When he took the stand, Chanax had directly implicated all three of the military men who were eventually found guilty. Two of them, Captain Byron Lima Oliva and Sergeant Obdulio Villanueva, Chanax claimed, had turned up at the garage immediately after the murder to inspect and alter the crime scene. The third man convicted was the captain’s father, Colonel Byron Lima Estrada, a former head of G-2 intelligence. He, according to Chanax, was one of three military men in don Mike’s store. But who were the other two men in the store—men who weren’t convicted for the crime but who had played a role in it?
During his many long pretrial conversations with Zeissig, the prosecutor, and Rafael Guillamón, the Spanish investigator for MINUGUA, the U.N. peacekeeping group then assigned to the country, Chanax had identified one of the two military officers who he said had been inside don Mike’s by a photograph; he didn’t know the officer’s name, or that the man he’d identified was an officer in the E.M.P. And then Chanax also named Pérez Molina as one of the officers in the store, and as one of the plot’s leaders. “But he was obviously too terrified of the general [Pérez Molina] to say anything about him on the stand,” Guillamón told me. Chanax confirmed his accusations against Pérez Molina during an interview in 2005 that we had in Mexico City, where he was living, very quietly, as a U.N. protected refugee. Guillamón, who subsequently became an investigator for CICIG, never lost his confidence regarding Chanax’s reliability as a witness; Chanax’s testimony about the convicted men, Guillamón later emphasized in a conversation we had, “withstood the challenges of several appeals over many years.”
Eventually Pérez Molina would refute the allegations, saying that he was in Washington, D.C., on the night of the murder, serving as a Guatemalan delegate to the Inter-American Defense Board, and that he had passport stamps to prove it. Yet an investigation by Claudia Méndez Arriaza, then a reporter at el Periódico who had been covering the Gerardi case for years, revealed that Pérez Molina actually possessed at least six passports, and could have come and gone from Guatemala using any one of those. Other journalistic investigations poked holes in his account, but in the end the question of Pérez Molina’s whereabouts that night can probably only be established by a criminal investigation and court trial. As Pérez Molina ascended to power, the Gerardi case came to a halt, even though prosecutors assigned to it continued to amass evidence. People were frightened of the former general’s power and of the violence he represented, as well as of the power of other figures potentially implicated in the case; attempting to prosecute the crime’s chain of command was considered too politically controversial and, to quote a phrase one often heard, “potentially destabilizing.” Like Chanax in the courtroom, people didn’t dare voice their accusations in public, out loud. Perhaps now, in the coming years, the Gerardi case will go forward again.
Back in 2007, when “The Art of Political Murder” came out in English, el Periódico published some translated excerpts, including a paragraph in which Chanax identified Pérez Molina as one of the men in don Mike’s store. Pérez Molina, in fact, was mentioned in only a few passages in that very long book, which tries to offer a detailed narrative of the crime and investigations and legal battles that followed. But when given his chance to reply by the newspaper, Pérez Molina reacted as if the whole book had been about him, and as if he had known about it in advance. “We have information that that book was paid for by a rival politician,” he claimed, without naming the politician or providing any proof. Back in 1998, of course, when I began the research that would culminate in the book, I was only dimly aware of Pérez Molina, if at all, and certainly never anticipated that he would become a Guatemalan Presidential candidate. And, even more strikingly, Pérez Molina avowed that he did not personally know Captain Byron Lima. Some readers of the newspaper immediately wrote in, anonymously, to attest to what is now known to be a close, personal, almost mentor-protégé relationship between the two men. More crucially, Rafael Guillamón told me that MINUGUA had documented several prison visits to Captain Lima by Pérez Molina. Back when he was with MINUGUA, Guillamón predicted that, in exchange for keeping quiet about what he knew and not implicating other officers in the Gerardi crime, Captain Lima would be given free rein to establish and rule over a criminal mafia from prison. This prediction came true.
The relationship between Byron Lima and Pérez Molina, in fact, played a central role in the President’s downfall. In September, 2014, in the midst of an increasingly vitriolic campaign by the Pérez Molina government and its allies to drive CICIG out of the country by not renewing its mandate, CICIG brought charges against Byron Lima for some of the crimes related to the criminal mafia he has allegedly built in prison, and which, according to CICIG, had brought the prisoner considerable wealth and power. It was revealed that, during the Otto Pérez Molina Presidency, Lima had become the de-facto headof the prison system, responsible for naming thirty-six of his civilian allies to Guatemalan penitentiary-system posts. When Lima was captured on one of his apparently routine comings and goings from prison in a caravan of S.U.V.s and bodyguards, some of these turned out to be vehicles used by President Pérez Molina’s political party for campaign events. It was revealed that a factory Lima ran inside the prison even had a contract to produce T-shirts for Pérez Molina’s political party.
In Guatemala, the ties between Pérez Molina and Lima were an open secret. The CICIG charges against Lima were like a shot fired across the bow of the Pérez Molina government, for a full prosecution could plausibly lead to the President as well. At that point, it became politically impossible for Pérez Molina and his allies to terminate CICIG’s mandate: it would be too obviously an effort to shield himself and his own government and allies. With the United States, the European Union, and, for now, even the Guatemalan political opposition supporting CICIG and even an expansion of its powers, Pérez Molina had nowhere to move. As Manfredo Marroquin, the head of Transparency International in Guatemala, told me, CICIG’s indictment of Lima back in September “was the beginning of the end.”
Over the years, there had been other allegations of crimes against Otto Pérez Molina. A declassified U.S. Pentagon cable identified him as one of the men responsible for the disappearance and murder of the guerrilla Efraín Bámaca, a charge the former President has denied. In a 2003 Washington Office on Latin America report on illegal groups in Guatemala, Pérez Molina was linked to “customs fraud” and named as the leader of a clandestine military group known as El Sindicato. In a 2008 case involving a mysterious “diversion” of eighty-two million quetzales from the Guatemalan Congress, six hundred and eighty-eight thousand of those quetzales turned out to have been “diverted” into Pérez Molina’s bank account. He defended himself by arguing that it was a loan. According to Claudia Mendez Arriaza, the case never went any further, and was never clarified. Rafael Guillamón, who was at CICIG, in 2007, when three Salvadoran members of the Central American Parliament were ambushed and murdered soon after driving their automobile into Guatemala, told me that there was solid evidence showing that some of the large sum of money they were carrying—which was stolen in the crime—had been destined for Otto Pérez Molina’s 2008 election campaign. This list could easily go on.
Pérez Molina’s earnest, soft-spoken, unexcitable demeanor gave him, in the eyes of many, an air of trustworthy credibility. During his postwar rise to political power, he played the role of the military modernizer well, ready to guide the country into a new democratic era, even arguing for the legalization of drugs. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, which Pérez Molina ended up losing, the Bush Administration’s ambassador, James Derham, publicly referred to Pérez Molina as “a good muchacho.” Anita Isaacs, an American scholar of Guatemala, wrote in an Op-Ed in the Times in June that she’d interviewed Pérez Molina “half a dozen times over the past decade” anddescribed him as “a master of manipulation.” Pérez Molina has always denied every accusation against him. His typical strategy is to quickly turn the tables on his accusers, always ready to respond with accusations of his own and even outright defamation, which he utters in his calm, sincere voice, as he has been doing now, against CICIG and Thelma Aldana.
But lately, a new hysteria and panic have seeped into that voice and demeanor. After Judge Gálvez ordered Pérez Molina to spend the night in the Matamoros prison because he is considered a flight risk, he stood in a passageway outside the court building, surrounded by police security, railing in a nearly breathless voice to a crush of reporters and other onlookers against his tormentors: he accused Thelma Aldana of seeking to destroy him; he called for the imprisonment of the president of the private-sector CICIG; and he argued pleadingly that he was not a flight risk because he could have left the country any time he wanted to, and that he could have asked for political asylum (though being accused of a crime is not, in fact, grounds for political asylum). It was an extraordinarily disconcerting and intimate look into a disorientating plummet from power, captured live on television. Finally, while press photographers swarmed around him and police pushed back against them, he was led into an S.U.V. for the short drive to the prison, where he would spend the night.
Otto Pérez Molina is an embodiment of the role the Army has played in Guatemala in the past half-century: in the years that followed the 1954 coup, which led to the military dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas; in the transition from military dictatorship to democracy, in 1985; and in the years that followed. He is a former soldier of the dreaded Kaibil special forces, an alumnus of the U.S. School of the Americas, an officer who rose to the top of a murky military-intelligence apparatus now regarded—inside Guatemala and out—as synonymous with murder, disappearances, torture, clandestine prisons and graves, as well as with corruption. This was not Augusto Pinochet languishing in a London clinic; nor was it the now decrepit former Guatemalan dictator and general Efraín Ríos Montt brought cowering, feigning illness, and finally brought to face justice, in Guatemala’s recent genocide trial. Pérez Molina represented a perfect union of Guatemala’s past terrors and its current model of power. Now, in less than twenty-four hours, he’d gone from being President to being a prisoner, tumbled down by the outrage and repudiation of his citizens, and by a vigorously empowered justice system that also never backed down from fulfilling its mandate to investigate and prosecute crimes, whatever the stature of the accused. The apparently spontaneous crowd amassed outside the Matamoros prison surprised even the Guatemalan commentators I was watching on TV with the intensity of their celebrations, which broke out as the group of Toyota S.U.V.s carrying the former President approached. Percussive strings of fireworks exploded, people waved Guatemalan flags and jumped up and down and whooped and shouted in joy, in vindication and also probably with a feeling of thrillingly satisfied collective vengeance, seemingly oblivious of the riot police roughly pushing against them with shields and dispensing pepper spray. This, I thought as I watched, was the harsh, raw joy of a people long silenced by decades of fear who were witnessing the more-than-symbolic demise of a corrupt power that it thought would never end, of an implicitly violent power whose downfall those people helped to bring about themselves, peacefully. These were true shouts of liberation, and watching the live reports, streamed live by Canal Antigua on my computer screen, I found myself finally believing that what so many are saying is true, that Guatemala—though much still remains to be done before one can say that the country has truly changed—really will never be the same again.
Francisco Goldman is a contributing writer at newyorker.com, and the author of “The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle.”
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