Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit: Guatemala under General Efraain Raios Montt, 1982-1983

By Virginia Garrard-Burnett | Go to book overview

5
“Los Que Matan en el Nombre
de Dios”
Ríos Montt and the Religious Question

Esperanza
En los más oscuro y sordido,
en lo más hostil y aspero,
en lo más corrupto
y asquearte,
allí obras Tú.
Por eso tu Hijo
bajó a los infiernos,
para transformar lo que NO ES
y para depurar LO QUE CREE SER.
¡Esto es esperanza!

—Julia Esquivel, Threatened with Resurrection: Prayers and Poems
from an Exiled Guatemalan

In January 1983, the Guatemalan Church in Exile, a group of mostly Roman Catholic dissident church people who had escaped to the relative safety of Mexico and Costa Rica, issued a statement: “The religious sects are an arm of the counterinsurgency. The religious sects have arrived to support the Army and Government of Ríos Montt in counterinsurgency war, as indispensable as automatic weapons or Huey helicopters.”1 This assertion succinctly lays out the conventional wisdom regarding the Ríos Montt government, foreign evangelicals, and the U.S. Reagan administration, a view that partisans on both sides of the armed

-113-

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Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit: Guatemala under General Efraain Raios Montt, 1982-1983
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface- Some Notes on - Appropriateness in the Writing of History vii
  • Contents xvii
  • 1 - Ríos Montt Earns His Place in the History Books 3
  • 2 - Guatemala’s Descent into Violence 23
  • 3 - Ríos Montt and the New Guatemala 53
  • 4 - Terror 85
  • 5 - "Los Que Matan En El Nombre de Dios" 113
  • 6 - Blind Eyes and Willful Ignorance 145
  • Epilogue 167
  • Notes 179
  • Bibliography 233
  • Index 255
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