Deconstructing NY Times propaganda


Richard Moore

From: "Rights Action" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: New York Times double-speak:  Deconstructing an editorial concerning 
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 15:01:39 -0400



On the face of it concerned about impunity in Guatemala, the NYT editorial below
cover-ups historic and on-going direct and indirect involvement of North 
American governments, private sectors and their military and economic interests 
in Guatemala.


To end the impunity of the wealthy and powerful sectors in a place like 
Guatemala, and help establish a real democratic culture and institutions and an 
equality-based and environmentally friendly development model, we must break 
through the narrow and misleading "nation-state" analysis, so often used by the 
media and countries of the global north, to understand how the global north 
(including our economic, military and political sectors) contribute to and 
benefit from the impunity, injustices and inequalities in a place like 

Covering, denying or ignoring how other governments and global economic actors 
contribute to and benefit from impunity in a place like Guatemala only serves to
help maintain that very impunity.  Dang it.

Please re-distribute this info far n wide.  If you want on/ off this elist: 
•••@••.•••.  WHAT TO DO: see below.


New York Times Editorial, July 31, 2007

[The editorial deals narrowly with some criminals in Guatemala's FRG party, not 
criminals in the other major Guatemalan parties backed by the US (and Canada).  
The editorial ignores the direct criminal role the US played in Guatemala's 
genocide and State terrorism.]

Guatemala¹s vicious 36-year civil war ended a decade ago. Unfortunately, the 
bloodshed and rampant impunity have not. More than 5,000 murders are reported 
each year. Many are committed by the same groups ‹ both left and right ‹ that 
terrorized the country during the war but that now have gotten into organized 
crime, including drug and human trafficking.

[The NYT makes misleading reference to criminals of the "left and right".  The 
vast majority of high-powered criminals acting with impunity and often immunity 
in Guatemala are from the "right" - most were direct allies of the US during the
mis-named "cold war" when the US back State-terrorism and genocide in 

Only a tiny fraction of these murders are ever investigated. Even fewer are 
brought to trial. At the request of Guatemala¹s government, the United Nations 
proposed creating a commission of experts to help investigate and prosecute 
these crimes.

The Guatemalan congress is expected to vote tomorrow on whether to accept the 
U.N.¹s help. Unfortunately one powerful party, the Guatemalan Republican Front, 
or F.R.G. ‹ the party of the former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt ‹ is fiercely 
opposed and looks as if it can muster the votes to block passage.

[While the FRG has members that ought to be in jail, guilty of crimes against 
humanity, genocide, and more, there are war criminals in the other major parties
as well ..., let alone Guatemala's oligarchy fully supported the US-backed 
military and pseudo-military regimes from 1954 right through the 1990s, and 
operated their own death squads.]

The proposed commission would do a lot more than just issue a report on what is 
going wrong in Guatemala. It would also help train police investigators and act 
as an auxiliary prosecutor, helping Guatemala¹s public prosecutors develop cases
and see them through to the end. Guatemala¹s own police and judiciary are too 
terrorized or too corrupted by these rogue groups to go after the criminals on 
their own.

The Bush administration has rightly expressed its support for the U.N. 
commission. Many leading members of Guatemalan society, including the human 
rights groups and the minister of defense, are backing it as well. The F.R.G. 
claims that bringing in the U.N. commission would violate Guatemala¹s 
sovereignty. But the country¹s constitutional court has already ruled that it 
would not.

This raises the question: Who is F.R.G. trying to protect? Obviously, not 
Guatemala¹s citizens.


[Who is the NYT trying to protect, covering up the historic role of the US in 
backing the genocide and state terrorism in Guatemala?  All or most of the 
military command structure in Guatemala - including those accused of genocide in
the Guatemalan and Spanish legal cases - received extensive training in US 
military schools.  The US provided massive military training and weaponry to the
Guatemalan military and para-military forces for generations.  North American 
businesses – including the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank – had and
maintain extensive economic relations with the undemocratic, unjust governments 
of Guatemala.  Etc.

[Who is the NYT trying to protect today?  The US and Canadian governments are 
pushing "free" trade agreements in Guatemala, engaging directly with the FRG 
party (in power 2000-2004) and the other dominant parties linked to the 
oligarchy and military.

[The Canadian and US governments are pushing for increased access by our mining 
and resource extraction companies to Guatemala's resources, working and dealing 
directly with the FRG and other main stream parties.


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