Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/4/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Plan to combat drug traffickers proves burden to rural communities, they claim

An operation that utilizes 200 U.S. Marines to patrol Guatemala's western coast to catch drug shipments is not sitting well with human rights activists here. They say it brings back the ghosts of that nation's rights abuses during the 1960-1996 Civil War.

An operation that utilizes 200 U.S. Marines to patrol Guatemala's western coast to catch drug shipments is not sitting well with human rights activists here. They say it brings back the ghosts of that nation's rights abuses during the 1960-1996 Civil War.

An operation that utilizes 200 U.S. Marines to patrol Guatemala's western coast to catch drug shipments is not sitting well with human rights activists here. They say it brings back the ghosts of that nation's rights abuses during the 1960-1996 Civil War.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/4/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Guatemala, drug cartels, Marines, Civil War, . Human Rights activists


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Rural communities in Guatemala are fearful of the military being used to combat drug traffickers because the same techniques are applied that were used in contra (counterinsurgency) warfare," rights advocate Helen Mack, executive director of the Myrna Mack Foundation says. "The historical memory is there and Guatemalans are fearful of that."

Guatemalan armed forces, backed by the U.S. during the civil war, committed more than 93 percent of the acts of violence, notes Kelsey Alford-Jones of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission.

It was half a century ago when the U.S. military last sent any significant aid and equipment into Guatemala. The plan then was to bolster counter-insurgency efforts during a guerrilla uprising after a CIA-backed coup overthrew democratically elected president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954.

This, in turn led to 36 years of civil war that ended in 1996 with the signing of a peace accords between the government and leftist guerrillas.

The war claimed 200,000 human lives - many of whom still remain missing, 93 percent of them as a result of the activities of state forces and paramilitary groups, a U.N. report said. The U.S. finally withdrew in 1978.

Guatemalan authorities say they signed a treaty allowing the U.S. military to conduct the anti-drug operations on July 16. An Air Force C-5 transport plane flew into Guatemala City from North Carolina loaded with the Marines and four UH-1 "Huey" helicopters less than a month later.

If Marines find boats suspected in drug shipment, they will contact their Guatemalan counterparts in a special operations unit from the Guatemalan navy that will move in for arrests. The Marines will not go along on arrest missions -- but they do have the right to defend themselves if fired on, U.S. officials say.

"Marines in Guatemala are in a supporting role and we are providing aerial, communications and logistical support to a regional partner who is currently facing strong challenges with illicit trafficking along its coasts. This is not a new role nor the first time the U.S. military supports a partner in this capacity," Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department said in an email.

"Though the Marine deployment is only temporary in nature, it's focused on the same mission - support to U.S. and regional authorities working to stop the flow of illicit trafficking through the Central American isthmus," Breasseale said.

Guatemala has a long and widespread tradition of internal corruption, "including unlawful killings, drug trafficking, and extortion; and widespread societal violence, including violence against women and numerous killings, many related to drug trafficking," according to a recent State Department report.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Americas

A MIRACLE? Virgin Mary statue with single red tear sparks mass pilgrimage Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Images of a Virgin Mary statue with a single red 'tear' streaming down her face has spread rampant through social media prompting hundreds of pilgrims to visit the statue in Columbia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The statue located in Floridablanca, Columbia is ... continue reading


Venezuela's collapse is a warning to Americans enamored with socialism Watch

Image of Socialism is a quick way to go hungry.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The world is hardly paying attention, but the nation of Venezuela is in full-collapse. Its economy has imploded, and its politics are in turmoil. The nation is beset with shortages of critical goods, and the beer supply has run out. Soldiers patrol the streets, tasked ... continue reading


EQUALITY: Sex-crazed Olympians will receive and use 350,000 male condoms and 100,000 female condoms! Watch

Image of Olympic athletes have been encouraged to practice safe sex in Rio de Janeiro (Sify).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a shocking move, Olympic organizers have decided to distribute 450,000 condoms to athletes participating in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics this year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Under the ruse of "equality," the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided ... continue reading


Prayer and hugging banned in Colombia Watch

Image of Colombia stuns the world when it announces a prayer and hugging ban (docakilah/Wordpress).

By Walter SŠnchez Silva (CNA)

In what's been labeled an "absurd" move, a judge in Colombia has banned prayer and "fraternal hugs" at the start of Cartagena city council sessions as well as local educational institutions. Cartagena, Colombia (CNA) - The ban on civic prayer - as well as the baffling ... continue reading


Student discovers lost Mayan city, but archaeologists insist it's not there. Isn't that the point of a lost city? Watch

Image of William Gadoury, thought he discovered a lost Mayan city, but archaeologists say no.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The story of a teen who found a lost Maya city may not be so remarkable after all, as experts studying the claim find that it doesn't hold up under scrutiny. While the teen certainly had good intentions, his lost city may be nothing more than fallow fields. LOS ... continue reading


'El Chapo' transferred - Will he escape again? Watch

Image of El Chapo has been transferred to a prison in Juarez, near the US border (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Notorious drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán has been transferred from Altiplano, a maximum-security prison in Central Mexico, to a prison in Ciudad Juarez. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CNN, a senior Mexican law enforcement source stated, "Due to ... continue reading


Cinco de Mayo - What is the day really about? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cinco de Mayo is upon us, and while many believe it is Mexico's Independence Day, it actually is not. So, what is Cinco de Mayo and why has it become so biculturally popular? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - "The significance of Cinco de Mayo is that it ... continue reading


Ecuador quake survivors share powerful stories of survival Watch

Image of The quake was the worst the Andean nation had seen in ten years (Paul Ochoa/Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated sections of Ecuador and left the death count at over 300 people. Over 2,000 destroyed buildings and ruined roads have been reported - and now survivors are sharing their harrowing experiences. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As ... continue reading


Previous Argentina President accused of money laundering Watch

Image of Former President of Argentina accused of money laundering (1meee).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After serving her country for eight years, former Argentina President Cristina Fern√°ndez de Kirchner has been accused of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars into oversea accounts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former president Fern√°ndez de Kirchner has ... continue reading


Virgin Mary statue considered in notoriously secular Uruguay Watch

Image of Secular Uruguay debates whether to erect a Virgin Mary statue in a park (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Uruguay is considered a secular country and is known for its refusal to condone religious beliefs of any kind - yet there exists a debate concerning the erection of a Virgin Mary statue. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Many in Uruguay stand on the country's ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • Goodbye El Nino! Hello La Nina! What does this mean for the Atlantic ...
  • Nun fatally attacked in South Sudan
  • St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • Prayer to Holy Michael the Archangel HD Video
  • Benedict XVI to make public appearance?
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, May 26th, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 1:10-16
10 This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 24th, 2016 Image

St. David I of Scotland
May 24: David, the youngest son of Scotland's virtuous ... Read More