Guatemala Apologizes for US-Orchestrated Coup Against Former Leader


Guatemala has formally apologized to the family of former president Jacobo Arbenz, 57 years after the U.S.-backed coup that ousted him from office. At a ceremony on Thursday, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom asked Arbenz’s family for forgiveness. Speaking on behalf of the Arbenz family, Arbenz’s son, Juan Jacobo, called on the United States to follow suit.

Juan Jacobo Arbenz: “My family suffered a lot in exile. We suffered the consequences of an injustice that took place in 1954 when an agency from a very powerful country, the United States, acted on the interests of a powerful North American company called the United Fruit Company who were condemned in court for being a monopoly. Here started the injustice and we call on the United States to recognize their errors.”

Somehow I doubt it.

The trial of Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes, a general under the US-supported dictatorship of Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, who came to power in the CIA-orchestrated coup that unseated Arbenz has been delayed yet again. He is accused of planning and ordering about 300 different massacres when he was chief of staff of the Guatemalan military between 1982 and 1983. Montt’s forces, with the help of his chief of staff Fuentes, slit the throats of women and children, beat innocent civilians and doused them in gasoline to be burned alive, tortured, and mutilated thousands of innocent indigenous peasants. The UN commission investigating the atrocities concluded it constituted acts of genocide. No inquiry into the culpability of US officials has been initiated.

For more on the US imposed regime change in Guatemala and US policy towards the country over the years, see here, here, and here.

Update: See’s interview with Giancarlo Ibarguen, who says “I blame the war on drugs in the United States for what is happening here in Guatemala.”

6 thoughts on “Guatemala Apologizes for US-Orchestrated Coup Against Former Leader”

  1. Our policies have not changed in a meaningful way at all. Our politicians might speak the names of Mossadegh, Lumumba, Arbenz, Allende, etc… when a gun is put to their heads, but what they stand for couldn't be more diametrically opposed. Nothing has changed for the better in our foreign policy since those days. You may get an apology from the USG like Iran did, but it will be meaningless words backed by the same belligerent arrogance that caused the problem to begin with.

    1. Indeed, they (US) made a half-hearted apology for just one of the coups against Iran – this enabled them to cover up the rest. How about the 1921 British aided coup which brought Reza Shah to power – only to be forced to abdicate in 1941. And why is the U.S. aided Nojeh coup in July 1980 never mentiond. How about the recent plot by England's Defense Secretary, Liam Fox, with his advisor Adam Werritty, was involved in a plot to bring down Ahmadinejad and had links to the Mossad ? Policy change? Never. Only better at disguising.

  2. LMAO! Dude. Are you kidding me? The US has never apologized to Iran for anything. Albright made some vague statements about “understanding” their anger and making mistakes. LOL. Empires never apologize. It would show weakness.

  3. che guevarra was in guatemala when the coup
    happened. It was really seeing US imperialism
    up close that formerly “radicalized him”……….

  4. Maybe Michelle Bachmilf will tell us the Guatamalans should pay for the coup that brought them what she and all the raving neoCons consider freedom.

  5. A truth and justice movement for Guatemala is long obverdue. Ditto for Honduras, but that's for the future as that sad country is once again in 'safe' hands.

    Meanwhile the 'Negroponte doctrine' is being fully applied now in Africa and Syria. The Death Squads never have to look far to find more work.

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