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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:47 PM

Guatemala’s ‘Little School of the Americas’

By Dawn Paley

Source: Upside Down World

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

COBAN, GUATEMALA—Since February, forensic anthropologists have turned up over 400 skeletons at a military base in Coban, Guatemala, in what has fast become one of the largest discoveries of a clandestine mass grave in the country. During the country’s 36 year long internal armed conflict that led to acts of genocide, the base at Coban was a center of military coordination and intelligence.

But what sets this dig apart is that it is taking place at a military base that remains active today: foreign military and police arrive regularly at the base to train troops from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. [1] In 2006, the military zone in Coban was renamed CREOMPAZ, which stands for Regional Training Command for Peacekeeping Operations.

The horrid history of the military base in Coban—and the impunity with which mass killings of men, women and children were carried out—provides a disturbing backdrop for present day “peacekeeping” operations.

Evidence of the ongoing excavation is all over Guatemala’s capital city, in the form of ads gracing billboards and bus stops. On the right hand side of the ad is a stock photo of a woman in a surgical mask, looking at a medical instrument. In Los Angeles, it might be a weight loss ad, in Houston, promotion for a private hospital. Not here. Instead, text across the top reads: “Do you have a family member disappeared between 1940 and 1996?” Then, “with DNA we are identifying them. A spit sample is enough.”

More: http://www.zcommunications.org/guatemala-s-little-school-of-the-americas-by-dawn-paley

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Reply Guatemala’s ‘Little School of the Americas’ (Original post)
polly7 Nov 2012 OP
Judi Lynn Nov 2012 #1

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:07 AM

1. Just hope the current Guatemalan President won't ban further investigation into military crimes.

He has been tied to former crimes against humanity during his own "service" as a high-ranking officer during the times of hideous abuse of Guatemalan indigenous, politically undesirable people in the eyes of the US-supported monster dictator Rios-Montt and others.
Visions straight from hell.

From the article:
There are few bullet wounds among the dead, according to Sausnavar. Most of the skeletons still show evidence of being bound, and many reveal bones that had been broken, healed and re-broken, indicating that the dead had been tortured and interrogated, some for lengthy periods of time, before they were killed and thrown in the pits.

The dig in Coban is revealing the gruesome reality of the country’s internal armed conflict, where people labeled subversives—political and student activists, Indigenous leaders and community members, and others— were kidnapped and tortured en masse. Children were also murdered before being dumped in clandestine graves at the base. All of this took place within the protective confines of a military controlled area.

Of the 28 former military areas the FAFG has dug since 1996, 24 have turned up bodies. Some of those digs are still works in progress, while more military bases, zones and detachments remain to be investigated. The dig at CREOMPAZ has turned up by far the largest number of corpses of any base.

For some, like Ka’koj Ba Tiul, a Maya Poqomchi’ anthropologist and professor, CREOMPAZ has received an unwarranted facelift by rebranding the military base as a peacekeeping center.

“It is a school of assassins. The hidden side is the training of teams of military counterintelligence,” said Ba Tiul, who calls CREOMPAZ “the little School of the Americas.”

“There are instructors from Argentina, instructors from Chile, instructors from Colombia, instructors from North America, and instructors from Israel,” said Ba Tiul in an interview at his home just over a dozen kilometers from the base. “It is where they are training all of those who will form part of the modern counterinsurgency model for Guatemala and Central America.”

Thank you for this important news, Polly7.

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