Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ixil Mayan women celebrating the indictment of Rios Montt

This is Ixil Mayan women celebrating after the indictment of former dictator & general Jose Efrain Rios Montt for genocide. The woman in the middle is Maria Raymundo, a survivor of the genocide. In our jubilation over the indictment of Rios Montt we should stop to bow in respect & awe to the Mayan victims & supporters who fought for this vindication. He tried to exterminate them & rather than be daunted by the system that allowed his murderous siege, they campaigned relentlessly for over 30 years. There can hardly be justice for the monstrous crimes he committed; condemnation & punishment is the best a court can provide.

Politically & socially, the indictment of Rios Montt opens up a can of worms & there are probably a whole lot of people sweating bullets because this verdict opens them to exposure & possible prosecution--most notably Guatemalan President Otto PĂ©rez Molina, himself involved in the genocide as one of the generals. The Mayan people are doing their part to fight genocide & we in the US need to get on the stick to do ours. Those not yet called to account for this genocide include US co-conspirators--Reagan & other White House officials, the Pentagon, CIA, US paramilitary thugs.

There are strong parallels between the Rios Montt trial & the prosecution of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak for the murder of hundreds of protestors in 2011. It’s unwise to believe the Rios Montt trial will set a precedent for prosecution of dictators. It took an uprising to bring Mubarak down; it only takes a law court to let him off the hook. Mubarak appeared to malinger during his first trial but apparently the old boy was actually sick; most of us probably thought he’d already croaked. He was indicted for premeditated murder of protestors but has been serving time mainly in hospitals rather than a jail cell. Now after legal maneuverings by his defense team he won the right to retrial. Reportedly he walked into court rather than get wheeled in on a stretcher so maybe the old boy’s illnesses aren’t so real after all!

(Photo by Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images)

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