Torres-Rivas responds to anti-genocide ad campaign
Adapted by: Romina Ruiz-Goiriena
“Confuse, Divide, and Betray”...
Adapted by: Romina Ruiz-Goiriena
“Confuse, Divide, and Betray”
The first problem with the manifesto published in the papers is its timeliness. It seems that they do not understand that this is the most important moment in the country’s history.
After all, these head of state are on trial for genocide. The act of genocide is the maximum expression of planned murder. Genocidal acts are a discharge of hate that allow the murder of the other. As far as responsibility goes, we had never tried any member of the military’s upper chain of command in Guatemala. And it seems that the former members of Arzu’s government want to deny reality. Or worse, it is better to draw up such a document riddled with errors and inaccuracies.
The signing of the Peace Accords (1996) did not intend to bring about peace between counterinsurgency guerillas and the Guatemalan army. It did intend, however, to reconcile all Guatemalans. Why then, would the ad be titled “Betraying Peace?” The accords intended to put an end to the conflict and to staunch open wounds.
A few days before, in order to not be judged for their multiplecriminal acts, both the guerillas and military came to an agreed to ask Congress for an amnesty law. They reconciled. The only crime that was left out was genocide. To confuse amnesty with reconciliation is ignorant. Or worse, malicious.
During the last few days, everyday civilians have asked and attempted to understand why two former generals stand trial and why witnesses are testifying against them. It is the beginning of a longer conversation that seeks to put an end to the resentment that divides us. This takes time and justice must too take its course.
The ferociousness that women and children were exposed to was excessive. The army partook and allowed for such abuses to take place when they were on duty. The road to reconciliation is not silence but to learn the truth, in order to forgive and forget.
We all know this to be true. And, if we don’t all know it—the twelve signers of the manifesto definitely do. Let us recall that the Foundation Against Terrorism (veterans) circulated a 20-page document that expounded lies in text and photos. It is hard to recall another time where the Right’s response has been so recalcitrant, so full of hate and threatning of our peace than in the ad “Betraying Peace and Dividing Guatemala.” It isn’t clear who the title is intended against. The Left is being threatened by veterans. That is the source of political violence.
No quedaclarofrente a quienes se reclama con ese titular tan artificioso. La izquierdaestásiendoamenazadapor los veteranos, la violenciapolíticavieneporallí, lasdocefiguras ¿del centropolítico? no se dancuenta.
The debate has been intense but on the wrong track. Was there genocide in Guatemala? No, there wasn’t, says the Right, without offering a single counterargument. How can the veterans explain the 280 bodies that have been exhumed in military bases?
The Left says that there was, at times confusing the army’s cruelty against civilians. The ferociousness doesn’t speak to the rationality of hate against racial, religious or ethnic groups. In that sense, there was genocide in the Ixil triangle and in Ixcan. Why do these 12 signers not take a position on these concrete acts? Do they think the debate about genocide betrays peace and divides Guatemala? If they really believe this, then they are no longer the moderate conservatives. They are seemingly close to bloody hands of veterans.
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