Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/4/2012 (2 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 (2 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Americas

Teenage girl brutally gang-raped and blinded during terrifying pastor-led exorcism in Argentina Watch

Image of A teenager was gang-raped and had her eyed gouged in a horrific exorcism ritual.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 16-year-old girl, who began seeing visions of a goat and thought that her family was demonic, suffered from a horrific exorcism ritual led by a Pastor in Argentina. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The teenager was brutally raped and had her eyes ... continue reading


'SLIME OF THE DEVIL:' Argentinean villages engulfed with spider webs Watch

Image of Local residents say that the phenomenon has never really been this bad. The last time there had been something similar had been in the 1980s, when there was an invasion of other insects, but at a different time of year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Argentinean town has been inundated by spiders, which have spun prestigious webs. The webs have covered many areas, including bodies of water. The locals here call the webs "baba del diablo," or the "slime of the devil." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Gay 'rights' are 'false rights,' Mexican cardinal asserts to transsexual advocate Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Diana Sanchez, a well-known transsexual and political figure in Mexico City's leftist party PRD, wrote a letter to Mexico's Primate, Cardinal Norberto Rivera insisting he and other cardinals "obey" the Pope in "abstaining from discriminating and judging homosexuals." ... continue reading


Here's your chance to join Pope Francis on a pilgrimage to Philadelphia

Image of Join the World Meeting of Families Virtual Pilgrimage. Grow with us in faith and receive prayers as we approach this historic event together.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Do you wish you could join Pope Francis in Philadelphia? Every available berth may be taken, but there is good news, you can still join him on a pilgrimage of your own! Pope Francis will be in Philadelphia on September 26-27 for the World Meeting of Families. An ... continue reading


Chilean women reject abortion as solution to sexual violence Watch

Image of Chilean women decry violations from sexual violence to workplace discrimination in a new video. However, they also reject abortion as a solution to these problems.

By CNA/EWTN News

Women in a new video released in Chile said that mothers facing difficult pregnancies need compassion and care from society, not abortion. Santiago, Chile (CNA) - "I became pregnant after I was sexually assaulted by a stranger, and it was a traumatic experience," ... continue reading


Women, children freed from slavery in Peruvian coca operation Watch

Image of Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Peruvian Special Forces rescued 26 children and 13 women, some of whom had been raped and held captive for three decades, when they raided a southeastern jungle camp of the left-wing Shining Path rebel group. BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - "Many of these ... continue reading


U.S. and Cuba reopen embassies in groundbreaking move to normalize relations Watch

Image of Official relations between the two countries were severed back in 1961, a diplomatic gulf widened by an embargo on travel and trade.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

The U.S. and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic ties for the first time since 1961 on Monday; a groundbreaking development advocated by Catholic bishops from both countries and set in motion by Pope Francis. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's an ... continue reading


CORRUPTION RAMPANT: Few surprised with prison escape of Mexico's 'El Chapo' Watch

Image of Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from maximum-security prison last week. Mexico is notorious for having one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


How did he do it? Surveillance video released with inside look at El Chapo's elaborate escape plan Watch

Image of Joaquin

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the second time in 14 years, the most powerful drug trafficker in Mexico and FBI's Public Enemy No. 1 has escaped prison using a tunnel. After Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was confirmed to have escaped from the country's most secured prison, the largest manhunt in ... continue reading


Did Pope Francis chew coca leaves during his visit in Bolivia? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' recent visit in South America, there were claims he requested to chew some coca leaves to help him cope with the high altitude. Bolivian authorities stated earlier that the Pope made the request during his stay in La Paz, but the Pontiff clarified ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:1-8
1 From Paul, by the will of God an apostle of Christ ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:38-44
38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2015 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter