Efrain Rios Montt
by Aaron Fournier

1) Profile of your leader

Efrain Rios Montt killed 75,000 people for his 18 months as a dictator of Guatemala.  He led the military junta which is a government set up rule over the Guatemalan people.  He rose to power through the military starting in 1946.  In 1982, he was asked to fix the corruption of the country.  This is ironic because he was paid to lead a coup to replace the Guatemalan government.  Once in power Montt took everyone's constitutional rights.  He set up secret tribunals where he would arrest people and take them to court.  Political parties were banned and people were not allowed to question it.  It has been determined that the action by Montt were acts of genocide. Montt and his army were tried in many were convicted of crimes against humanity.

2) Audio/Visual/Artistic Element

This video was published a year ago and BBC News covered the trial of Montt.  He was sent to prison for 80 years, 50 for genocide and 30 for crimes against humanity.  In this case of genocide he specifically targeted the Mayan people.  Everyone in the court room was cheering because they Montt to be punished for life.  He will be behind bars for the rest of his life. He has caused so many people to suffer and to people were excited to hear that he is finally going to prison until the day he dies.

3) Creative Piece

Letter from a Mayan citizen of Guatemala

Dear President Montt,

As part of the Mayan culture we believe that you are targeting us and killing our race.  We are feeling threatened and you are killing us for no reason.  I have seen my village being destroyed, my family is starting to disappear.  You have killed 1.5 million of us and I do not know why.  We are peaceful people and we are not involved in this guerrilla warfare that you accuse us of being involved with so do not think we are a part of that in any way  We really want you to give us an explanation of why you are killing our race and we want you to stop killing us.  I missing my family members and I want to live in my village again, so please stop this madness and corruption.


4) Essential Question

To what extent did Montt's crimes impact Mayan culture and have they recovered from his time in power?