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When the military hunted those “accused of genocide”

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After the fall of Jacobo Árbenz, in 1954, the military regime of Carlos Castillo Armas carried out arrests, initiated trials, and executed civil servants from the previous government accusing them of commiting genocide by assassinating between 9 and 16 “anticommunist Catholics” in Antigua,Guatemala. Traces of that story –although blurry– can still be found in deteriorated archives.
More than half a century after these events, the only way to get the file number… is to find it in the file. Guatemalan court documents are therefore inaccessible to anyone who wishes to undertake a historical investigation.
“When prisoner Pineda Garcíacame back—the article continues— he addressed the reporters. ‘I am not guilty. I received verbal and telegraphic instructions from Cruz Wer, in which he ordered me to deliver the political prisoners to Manuel Monroy and other communist leaders. A subordinate cannot disobey orders from above.”

Translated by Rodrigo Fuentes

I. The first person ac...

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