The Contrary Perspective

Former President Pérez Molina Former President Pérez Molina

Jack Werner

The former President of Guatemala, Otto Fernando Pérez Molina, has stepped down amidst corruption charges, being formally indicted on September 3 for his role in the scandal now known as “La Linea.” By far the best coverage of this case for non-Spanish speakers has come from Francisco Goldman in TheNew Yorker, who has written a piece that at once captures the historic momentum of this indictment while encompassing the personal reflections of a seasoned journalist. It deserves to be read by all.

Underneath the story of corruption engulfing Pérez Molina as he currently awaits trial, there is another, more painful, story that recapitulates Guatemalan history and the role of this former general in it.

I’m talking about the 1981-1983 genocide in Guatemala, which reached its bloodiest height in 1982 in the rural highlands of Guatemala. Efraín Ríos Montt, the military dictator of…

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