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Corporate Globalization Resistance

Guatemala
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Guatemala
(Death toll of U.S.-backed coup, interventions, and U.S. backed-dictatorships/death squads 1954-1980s: 200,000)

Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad 1798-1993

1920 - U.S. forces protected the American Legation and other American interests, such as the cable station, during a period of fighting between Unionists and the Government of Guatemala.

US-Guatemala (1901-2002)

1901-1944  Guatemala suffers under a succession of dictators. During the period, the United Fruit Company (UFCO), which is exempt from taxes, exerts significant influence within the country.

1944-1954  The dictator Jorge Ubico is overthrown and Guatemala enjoys what is known as the “ten years of spring” with two popularly elected and reformist presidents. The second president during this era, President Jacobo Arbenz (1951-1954), permits free expression, legalizes unions, allows diverse political parties, and initiates basic socioeconomic reforms. One key program is a moderate land reform effort aimed at alleviating the suffering of the rural poor, by which only plantations of very high acreage are affected, and only in cases where a certain percentage of such acreage is in fact lying unused. In these extreme cases, the unused portions of the land are not expropriated, but simply purchased by the Guatemalan government at the same value declared on the owner’s tax forms.The property is then resold at low rates to peasant cooperatives. To set an example, President Arbenz starts with his own lands.

1953  The land redistribution collides with the interests of the United Fruit Company (UFCO), for whom 85 precent of the 550,000 acres they own are uncultivated. The US government demands extra compensation for the United Fruit Company over what has already been given.

1953  Charles R. Burrows of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs writes: “Guatemala has become an increasing threat to the stability of Honduras and El Salvador. Its agrarian reform is a powerful propaganda weapon; its broad social program of aiding the workers and peasants in a victorious struggle against the upper classes and large foreign enterprises has a strong appeal to the populations of Central American neighbors where similar conditions prevail.”

1954  CIA covert Operation PB Success successfully removes Arbenz from power. The CIA director at this time, Allen Dulles, was formerly the president of the United Fruit Fruit Company (UFCO) and the previous CIA director and under-secretary of state, General Walter Bedell Smith, is on the company’s board of directors. Smith will become UFCO’s president following the overthrow. Allen Dulles’ brother, John Dulles, who is Secretary of State, previously worked as a lawyer defending the United Fruit Company.

1954  Following the CIA coup, Guatemala plunges into a civil war and 40 years of american-trained death squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, with an estimated toll of 100,000 victims.

Books/Articles/Excerpts:
Killing Hope by William Blum: Guatemala 1953-1954

State Terrorism and the United States: From Counterinsurgency to the War on Terrorism by Frederick H. Gareau Guatemala: A Country Incommunicado

A "killing field" in the Americas: US policy in Guatemala

Guatemala: A Brief History

Killing Hope by William Blum: Guatemala 1962-1980s

Guatemalan Death Squad Dossier

Making Guatemala a Killing Field by Noam Chomky

History of Guatemala's Death Squads

CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents

Guatemala: Between Justice and Terror

The Persistence of Terror  - Guatemala

Israel and Guatemala

U.S. Policy in Guatemala, 1966-1996

The Press Has Blood On Its Hands - in Guatemala

Retaliation in Guatemala

Lessons on Justice from Guatemala

Unearthing Guatemala's Macabre Past

Guatemala Bleeds; US Press Shrugs

Extrajudicial Executions and Clandestine Graves in Guatemala

Guatemalan Refugees: A Difficult Return

Economy

World Bank Mining Project in Guatemala

Land Reform and Conflict In Guatemala

Guatemala and CAFTA

Global Bully Goes To Guatemala