Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/4/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Americas

The unbelievable thing 2,000 Cuban immigrants did at the Costa-Rican Nicaragua border Watch

Image of Long lines of trucks and buses have piled on both sides of the border as migrants have refused to let traffic pass, authorities say.


In what threatens all transportation and trade to Central America, 2,000 Cuban immigrants have thrown themselves against the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Buses and trucks are halted on both side of the border. The Cuban migrants have taken a stand ... continue reading

See this Nazi? Why did the CIA protect 'The Butcher of Lyon' after WWII? And why did the Vatican help? Watch

Image of Klaus Barbie.


The U.S. government has a poor record of managing people that it protects and builds up. A new case came to light recently as the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail featured the story of Klaus Barbie, the Nazi who killed hundreds of people during the war, only to enjoy CIA ... continue reading

Central American refugees streaming in to U.S. quickly reaching crisis levels Watch

Image of Far more worrisome is the fact that unescorted immigrant children, those who travel with other children without adult supervision are steadily increasing.


While immigration remains a very hot button topic in the 2016 presidential debates, the number of refugees illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico - and further south, is quickly reaching crisis levels. The number of illegal refugee families ... continue reading

The heartbreaking true story of a Mexican human trafficking survivor who was raped 43,000 times since 12-years-old Watch

Image of Karla Jacinto survived severe sexual, physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her pimp (CNN).


Twenty-three-year-old Karla Jacinto has stepped forward to share her horrifying survival story after suffering sexual abuse for seven years, then enduring four years as a prostitute and victim of human trafficking in Mexico. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her tale ... continue reading

Ancient Mayan sinkhole believed to be former altar for human, animal sacrifice Watch

Image of Scuba instructor Troy Iloski is the man behind the photos. Iloski travelled with local tour guides Antonio Molina Piquard, Anna Nicolaus and Bernardo Miranda to capture these stunning pictures.


Spectacular color photographs of an ancient Mayan sinkhole in Quintana Roo, Mexico have captivated a global audience. The beauty holds a dark and terrifying secret, as many believe the sinkhole to be an ancient sacrificial Mayan site - for human and animal ... continue reading

Guatemala's corruption reaches all-time high: Can a comedian save them? Watch

Image of


The Guatemalan government has come under fire yet again with several counts of corruption. In an attempt to combat the increasingly untrustworthy government, comedian and former actor Jimmy Morales quickly went from zero to hero in a landslide victory with 70 percent ... continue reading

22 people arrested, 12 tons of marijuana seized in 'super tunnel' sting in San Diego Watch

Image of The raid was the culmination of a six-month undercover investigation. The operation was triggered after an undercover agent with the U.S. Tunnel Task Force met with two suspected traffickers at a San Diego restaurant.


A sophisticated super tunnel in San Diego, California has been busted by federal agents as part of a drug sting. Twenty-two people have been arrested - and 12 tons of marijuana was seized in the raid. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A nondescript cinder-block ... continue reading

Discovered Bahamian fossils give astonishing 'unparalleled snapshot' into Ice Age life in Caribbean Watch

Image of Isolated islands make it far easier to determine what factors contributed to a species' development -- or extinction, in the same manner in which Charles Darwin established his theories at the Galapagos Islands.


New fossils discovered in the Bahamas give "us an unparalleled snapshot at what the Ice Age life would have been like on a Caribbean isle," lead author David Steadman, curator of ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History says. It's believed that ... continue reading

Justin Trudeau swept to victory as Liberals ride elections in Canada Watch

Image of Leading the Liberal party to a sweeping victory on many sides, Justin Trudeau will be Canada's new prime minister.


Leading the Liberal party to a sweeping victory on many sides, Justin Trudeau will be Canada's new prime minister. Conservative Stephen Harper, making his fourth consecutive mandate, will step down as party leader. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

Amazing 400-year-old church re-emerges from Mexican reservoir Watch

Image of The Temple of Santiago (AP).


The 400-year-old Temple of Santiago, also called the Temple of Quechula, has reemerged from Mexico's Nezahualcoyotl reservoir. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The colonial-era church became visible following a drought that decreased the water level of the ... continue reading

All Americas News


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 Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • St. Saturninus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 29, 2015
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:15-27
15 'I, Daniel, was deeply disturbed and the visions that passed through ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87
82 Bless the Lord, all the human race: praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:34-36
34 'Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened by debauchery and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2015 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, ... Read More