In 1999, Monsignor Juan José Gerardi Conedera published the Recovery of Historical Memory Project or REHMI was an unprecedented report. Unlike the United Nation Truth Commission vaguely explained the causes of the violence without naming protagonist of the violence. The REHMI push the boundaries of impunity and silence. The report broke the status quo of silence and named the Military officers, colonels, and generals that were involved with thousands of human rights violations. The report was a threat to the Military institution in which two days later, Juan Gerardi death came to enforce the impunity that exist in Guatemala even in post-war.
The brutal event of the death of Juan Gerardi was no random act of violence but the continuous impunity that is foundation of the civil war was based on that hasn't be solved. The Guatemalan Military since 1954 has in a sense paranoia in which their form of violence, brutality, and government has been ingrained within Guatemalan society. They found excuses and reasons to justify their action that has kept them in power, from constitution establishment to the repressive tactics of death and intimidation, the Guatemalan Military impunity has been continuous. The topic will be explaining is how the Guatemala Military has used the constitution, its power in the state institution, and fear to consolidate themselves to be an almost unchallenged part of the Guatemalan Society.
OVERVIEW OF THE CIVIL WAR
As to understand the power of the Military of Guatemala, the background must be explain, in 1944, the Guatemalan people overthrew General Jorge Ubico’s Military dictatorship and begin a period called “10 Years of spring”; in which under the presidency of Juan Jose Arevalo and Colonel Jacobo Arbenz flourished with the ideals of democracy and transparency. In 1954, As the Arbenz government pushed for land reform in which United States view it as “Communist aggression” which United States began its stage coup. The C.I.A. secretly fund the Military coup in which a U.S. installed Military government was form, the result of massive repression and internal struggle of the Military institution was shown in the stage in the early transition. The start of the Guatemalan Civil War began with the first guerrilla army form in the 1960’s and different revival of rebel groups forming during the 1970’s and 1980’s in which eventually the factions of the rebel formed a umbrella group call the URNG (Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity) which it’s fighting force was small compare to the Guatemalan Massive
The Civil War gave the Guatemalan Military to implement it stay in the government with the help of United States’ Cold War policies and Military aid, weapons, and with training. The acceleration of the Militarization of Guatemalan Army was according to Carol A. Smith the Guatemalan army “was the strongest, most fully institutionalized, and the most nationalistic military force in Central America”( Smith 9). During the timeline of the war, between late 1970’s and early 1980’s the level of atrocities was beyond the barbaric standards in which the government adopted a policy scorched-earth campaign that give discriminatory reason to commit one of the worst human rights in Latin American History. (Valladares) It was consider to the level of genocide against the Mayan population in which the Guatemalan Truth Commissions explain that the state view the Indigenous population as a threat to the state in which has concluded that about 626