Efrain Rios Montt


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Efrain Rios Montt was born on 16 June 1926 in Huehuetenango, a city in the western highlands of Guatemala. He is one of a family of 11 children. In 1946 he enrolled as a military cadet and continued climbing up in ranks for years. Eventually in 1972 he is promoted to the rank of brigadier-general and appointed as army chief-of-staff. Between 1966 and 1970 a reported 10,000 civilians, most of whom are Mayans, are killed in the army campaigns. On 8 June, Ríos Montt disbands the junta and assumes the presidency, ruling as a dictator. He also acts as minister of defence until 31 August. The 14 months of Ríos Montt's rule will become the bloodiest in Guatemala's history since the invasion of the country by the Spanish some 400 years earlier. Ríos Montt's term in parliament expires on January 14. On January 26, he is ordered to stand trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The verdict remains unknown.
Efrain Rios Montt Genocide 0001


General Efrain Rios Montt overthrows the Guatemalan government and becomes the military leader. The Genocide took place 1982-1983, after the civil war. He wanted to eliminate anyone aiding to help the guerillas, so he destroyed 626 villages by the means of massacre. He used brutal, violent tactics in exterminating his targets. Around 200,000 went missing during his reign of terror. Efrain Rios Montt is now facing charges for genocide.

Dear Citizens,

I want to inform you that many more villages have been attacked. This is due strictly to the civil war. The Guerillas are being defeated by my military regime, not innocent civilians. I am bringing great wealth to our country and my vision is a stronger Guatemala for both you and I. Through the tactics we are running now we are benefiting greatly and we need to continue doing what we are and we will see the results. Let's get together and make this happen guatemalans!

Did Efrain Rios Montt benefit the country in a positive or negative way?