Montt the Ruthless

By: Lisa Beretta and Victoria Cull

Essential Question

Ultimately, how did Montt's reign effect the society of Guatemala and himself?

Meet Enfrain Rios Montt

Well known for: Brutality of his regime

-Became president of Guatemala during the early 1980’s

-First Latin American dictator (who was also an evangelical protestant)

-Montt is an evangelical Protestant who has ties to US Christian fundamentalists.

-Jose Efrain Rios Montt was born on June 16, 1926 in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. In 1943 he joined the army and rapidly advanced his rankings (including: chief of army and military specialist).

-Records show that Montt took part (had some kind of involvement) in a coup that gave him power to rule. It is documented that he didn’t have any part in creating a plan for the coup, but he eventually became that face of them (the face: meaning he became president because of the coup). Definition of a coup: a sudden, violet, illegal seizure of power.

-Montt also held a junta (a military group that rules a country/ takes over it by force) for 1 ½ years. Years after earning an education at Fort Gulick, Fort Bragg, and the Army School of War, he decided to run for President.

-In terms of his Presidency, he was proclaimed the winner of the election; but after a second counting, it was shown that his opponent had actually won (after the government “fraudulently” changed the results in order to keep their power). Because of this, Montt retired from his life of politics and joined an evangelical church. Later, he became ordained as a pastor.


Ruthless Streak!

Brief History/Horrible Genocide

-At this time in Guatemala, they were in a very brutal-civil war. There was only one president in Guatemala since 1954; because of this, military figures took over the rest of the country by protecting the ruling class and ignoring the peasants. Peasants decided to form their own group in order to try to protect their communities. Soon, the army’s campaign had been directed against the guerrillas and the indigenous Mayan people living in the highlands.

-It is strongly suggested that Montt was involved in the genocide of the Mayan-Ixil Indians (1771 casualties) and had 200,000 people killed during his rule, almost all murders commenced by the military. The evidence suggests that there were 200 platoon reports and signed papers that relate to Montt and his officer.

- 70,000 people, mainly Mayans and political enemies, died at the hands of Montt. 626 Mayan villages were attacked during his rule.

-He ran for re-election in 2003, but lost due to very little support and votes. He later got a job in parliament afterwards.

Global Studies (Cooney/Hatzi) Block 3


Poem: Reign of Terror!

He is known for brutality, murders and more

He started out fighting in various wars

Then he said "Hmmm, I think I want to be President"

(He could have been too since he was popular amongst the residents)

At first he won, but the government said "HECK NO!"

So he walked away, siad "I'm done" and humbly let it go...

Soon, he joined a coup and helped them over throw a governmental faction

When all was said and done---you wouldn't believe the peoples reaction!!!

He became the face of this coup and instated himself as president

Because of this He lost control of all his residents.

It was his way of the highway>>and the highway was chosen


This was THE "Bloodiest period of anti-Mayan violence!"

With times so scary (because of the sense of indifference)

So here you have it--then end of our tale

As we learned about an age that was clearly quite stale

Montt was indeed RUTHLESS, a dictator among the worst

His terror so big that it eventually burst!

Reign of Terror, Reign of Terror!

Who knew what was to come?

Bringing Rios Montt to Justice Video

You only need to watch (at least) the first 2-3 minutes of this video, but watch as much as you would like!

*There is great information on this video... Feel free to explore!

Bringing Rios Montt to Justice - Guatemala

Extended Paragraph...

We picked this video because it really gives you an in-depth, realistic view of the things that Montt has done to Guatemala. It is very interesting to watch him talk as if he has done nothing wrong... As he sees it, he hasn't done anything wrong. The definition of a dictator is: someone with total power over a country; typically the power is gained by a force of some sort. In Montt's case, he is defiantly a dictator! We hope this video gave you better insite on who Montt really is and the devastation and despair he has pushed on the people of Guatemala.