Efrain Rios Montt
by Kristina Czoschke

Efrain Rios Montt was born on June 16, 1926 in Huehuetanango, Guatemala. At the age of 17, Montt joined the military and quickly rose up the ranks. He went to school at the multiple military forts across the world. In 1974, he retired from military life and started campaigning. Two years later, he quit his political life after much failure. In 1978, Montt became part of a Protestant church and became the pastor there.

Montt came into power when the country was in utter chaos. As many factions of the military were divided and trying to throw each other off and fall into the position of power, a group managed to succeed in placing Efrain Rios Montt in charge believing that he would be favorable. No one refused believing that Montt would be able to snuff out the massacres that were occurring at the time. However, no such thing happened. Instead of trying to settle the people down to calm the killings, he instigated a Civil Self-Defense Patrol which caused more deaths than could be counted. Soon, he made the government monitoring almost every aspect of civilian lives and worsening it by giving permission for the government to kill its people. 1983 is the beginning of the government and Montt's dance. Every few years or so Montt would step down from power to avoid consequences only to step back in later completely immune to all charges. This continued to 2003 where the Supreme Court finally managed to stop him from becoming president again. In January 2012, he finally faced his charges against humanity.

Media Piece

The history of this country is so brutal that even today we can see some old "habits" appear. Death threats still are made and killings occur as a daily event. Even though Montt clearly has no political power, he still has enough power to carry out threats and the rest of the country follows in his footsteps. Murder is an escapable crime if you have the means.

Creative Piece

Efrain Rios Montt

Who influences today

With all of this death

Essential Question

Why is Guatemala still a 'warring' country and how did Montt influence this?