by Jerry Alatalo
uatemalan President Otto Perez Molina faces the loss of political power and possible indictment for his alleged part in a multi-million dollar scandal involving bribery over import customs fees. For the people of Guatemala, Molina’s chances of winning the nation’s presidential election scheduled for September may have vanished, in what could be described as Guatemala’s version of an “August surprise”.
Infamous American mafia figure Al Capone somehow escaped prosecution for murder, illegal alcohol bootlegging, and other of his major crime – and only went behind bars after his conviction on tax evasion charges. In a similar situation, Molina has escaped prosecution for his actions during the 1980’s as a commander of right-wing death squads in Guatemala that murdered and maimed thousands of Guatemalans, most likely as part of the Reagan administration’s deadly “destabilization” campaign primarily directed at Nicaragua, but involving all nations in Central America.
This story has ramifications for Jeb Bush and his run for president, because during the killings in Guatemala Jeb Bush’s father George H. W. Bush was Vice President under Reagan – and a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Jeb Bush cannot escape from answering questions concerning his father’s role – and Jeb’s personal role while in Florida – in 1) the Iran-Contra scandal and 2) GHW and Jeb Bush’s responsibility for planning and facilitating mass murder in Central America.
How Bush answers serious questions about mass murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Central America during the 1980’s when his father was Vice President and then President will determine whether his candidacy continues or if he will become forced to drop out of the race. Jeb Bush has become challenged forcefully in explaining his brother’s decision to attack Iraq based on outright lies told to the American people and the world, and it’s very possible that when Jeb Bush starts getting questioned about the exact role his father and he assumed in the 1980’s mass murders in Central America his run for president will crumble.
Admittedly having done little research on the historical political situation in Guatemala since the 80’s, it came as a surprise to learn that this former death-squad commander in the 80’s had become president of the country, especially in light of the population’s horrific memories of massacres from that time (1982-83) under then-president Efrain Rios Montt, recently (2013) – finally – convicted of genocide and sentenced to 80 years in prison.
One basic aspect of karma is that persons are unable to escape having to account for their actions, even though criminal, harmful actions may never become punished using traditional legal means. For mass-murderers who never face accountability and punishment in a court of law, all the while believing they “got away with it”, their remaining time on Earth will include extreme psychological and spiritual difficulties producing negative effects that are the same as those experienced by persons in prison behind bars.
It seems that in this instance Mr. Molina’s chances of telling himself he “got away with it” are rapidly vanishing, after most of his cabinet resigned and the Guatemalan people are letting their voices of opposition to him remaining in office become heard very loud and clear. Thank you to the Guatemalan people for standing up to corruption in high places and giving people in other nations a great example to follow.
Perhaps that great example will help to speed up arriving at the day when political corruption and war crimes in all their forms around the Earth come to an end, each of its practitioners face full accountability, and only moral, honest, benevolent elected representatives remain in office.
Nobody knows when that fine day will come. It may come decades from now, or, by some miracle, in weeks. It all depends on karma.
Allan Nairn and Amy Goodman traveled and worked together as investigative journalists in Guatemala in the time of Rios Montt’s rule, when current President Otto Perez Molina was a military commander carrying out Rios Montt’s orders of genocide. The following videos, the first from 2013 and the second from today in 2015, will give readers a good idea why the situation in Guatemala is important, not only for the people of Guatemala but also for Americans – as this story relates to Jeb Bush.
(Thank you to Democracy Now at YouTube)
From April 2013, during the genocide trial of Efrain Rios Montt:
… And now in August 2015: