U.S. Gives Guatemala Military Aid after 25-Year Ban

June 30, 2006

GUATEMALA CITY – The U.S. government this week gave the Guatemalan Army a shipment of modern military and communications equipment, marking the first such aid package since Washington imposed a ban on arms shipments to the Central American nation more than 25 years ago.

The equipment was turned over to the army during a ceremony at a base in southern Guatemala City attended by President Oscar Berger, Defense Minister Francisco Bermúdez and U.S. Ambassador James M. Derham.

The U.S. Congress had banned arms sales to Guatemala in response to the human rights violations committed by government forces during the country’s 1960-1996 civil war.

The ban was lifted earlier this year after a visit to Guatemala by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

“The support of the United States is not accidental, they have seen that this is a different army, professional,” Berger said in an address at the ceremony to thank Washington.

The shipment, worth some $1.6 million, includes generators, backpacks, boots, sleeping bags, binoculars, helmets and ponchos.

The United States is also providing the Guatemalan Army with compasses, GPS equipment and communications gear, among other items.

A February 1998 report by Guatemala’s Truth Commission, which investigated human rights violations committed during the 36-year civil war, said 200,000 people were killed and more than 50,000 disappeared in the conflict.

Some 96% of the rights violations, according to the commission, were committed by the army and the rest by leftist guerrillas.

With a population in those days of slightly more than 11 million, the number of deaths and disappearances per capita in this Central American nation far outstripped the more publicized cases of rampant rights abuse in other countries such as Argentina or Chile.

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)
Pic of the Day
78 views
Pic of the Day
78 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 18, 2019

Isla Nublar, the setting for much of the "Jurassic Park" series, is unfortunately not a real Costa Rican island. Cocos…

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety
Costa Rica
12 views
Costa Rica
12 views

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety

AFP and The Tico Times - April 18, 2019

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it places responsibility with the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro for…

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat
Latin America
28 views
Latin America
28 views

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat

AFP and The Tico Times - April 17, 2019

Venezuela withdrew the diplomatic credential from the Costa Rican chargé d'affaires on Tuesday in retaliation for the country’s acceptance of…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!