Efrain Rios Montt

by Nolan Tranchemontagne


Efrain Rios Montt was born on June 16 1926 in Huehuetenango to a family of 11 children in the western highlands of Guatemala. Efrain went to school in Huehuetenangro for primary and secondary education. Efrain quickly began his career in the Guatemalan Army right after he finished school. In 1946 he entered the Guatemalan Military Academy as a cadet. Efrain excelled greatly through the academy and and graduated in 1950. Immediately after graduating he experienced active duty, and he moved up in rank gradually over the years. He also began taking top tier classes, like counterinsurgency courses, and afterwards he was able to attend general and command staff courses run by the Italian Army. These prerequisites made him eligible to become the director of the Military Academy.

Montts Regime

On March 23, 1982 Montt demoted General Romeo Lucas Garcia in a coup and seized power. U.S did not foresee this act and yet they still organized a Military Junta that allowed Montt to be in control. This Junta dismissed Guatemalan's constitution, shut down the legislature, set up secret committees, and later began a movement against political separatist which included a plethora of atrocities and unethical coups. After two of his members were forced to resign, he gained complete control of the armed forces and became secretary of defense. Excessive violence broke out by the radical guerrillas and Montt violently took control of these revolutionaries by defeating them through the Guns and Beans campaign, which was the cause of 200,000 Guatemalans and Mayans casualties.
The Genocide Conviction of Guatemala's Efraín Ríos Montt
The video above is showing the genocide conviction of Efrains Montt during his dictatorship in Guatemala. This is the first time that a domestic court has pressed charges on a past president with these kind of charges. During Montt's conviction the people and the jury felt jingoistic and inited once the verdict was read, and the reason for this was that the people finally were able to get justice. This was a peculiar case because its rare for charges of these kind erupt in a court house as serious as these because their government is so fragile.

Essential Question

Is Efrains Rois Montt responsible as an individual for the atrocities that occurred in Guatemala during his regime?

Creative Piece

Dear Judge,

How is it right that someone who has committed these atrocities, if arrested, will still be fed daily meals where the people who are left with nothing are starving due to his selfish actions. The indigenous people including my family, were robbed form our land and displaced from our resources; who is responsible for these calamities? Efrains Montt shouldn't just be charged and sent to prison he should be sent to his death for the thousands of people he murdered through the civil war. I know woman who can't live the same way because they are haunted by the thoughts and the experiences of being raped and tortured by this evil man. Justice will occur when the people of Guatemala are free form Efrain's infamous legacy.


frustrated individual