FRONTLINE/World ultimately aims to create an online
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the world can post comments and engage in a thoughtful,
lively dialogue. We invite you to email
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Klaas Epp - Wichita, Kansas
Thank you for this story. It needs to get out. Furthermore,
what needs to be proclaimed and condemned with great energy
is the support the Reagan administration played in promoting
Rios Montt as well as the influential leaders of the "Moral
Majority" and other American so-called Christians (especially,
Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggert, and Luis Palau);
some to this day claim Montt was set up by a covert communist
plot in his government (after all an "evangelical" Christian
would not order genocide). A good read on this, Is Latin
America Turning Protestant? The Politics of Evangelical
Growth, by David Stoll (University of California Press).
Andrea Leger - Cocagne, New Brunswick
On July 25th 1981, my brother Raoul Leger, a Canadian lay
missionary, was assassinated by the Guatemalan Army. The
courageous Mayans that participated in your documentary,
Guatemala: Toward Justice, reminded me of how important
it is that we, the survivors, become their voices for justice
to be found.
How truly sad that greed can surpass
the value of a human life....
Avexnim Cojti - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
I thank you for putting together this documentary on the history of the oppression of Santa Maria Tzeja. The international community needs to be aware that the conflict in Guatemala is not over by signing an agreement. Justice is not truth to Maya people. Rather, the continuation of injustices such as expropriation of land and resources, racism, and violence, are the norm.
Oscar Berger offered an apology for the murder of Myrna Mack. But would he or any other president apologize to thousands of Maya individually? Most likely not. Would the government compensate for lost land, lost opportunity, to orphans and widows? Most likely not. I imagine they will offer a general apology and expect peace, then praise themselves for being the most democratic government in power. They think the people who died were villagers, without education, without resources and therefore, not considered first class citizens, as was the case with Myrna Mack.
Lastly, I support Rigoberta Menchu in her efforts to put Rios Montt and
other military and ex-military in jail. It has been a long
journey and lawyers and other academics that have supported
justice have been killed or at least threatened.
In response to the question: How can a nation recover from decades of civil war? Would a truth and reconciliation commission work in Guatemala?
Luis Maldonado - New Mexico
I do think reconciliation is possible, and feel it's already
underway. However, President Oscar Berger is not the human
rights justice leader you make him out to be in these videos.
Far from it. These apologies are but ceremonial steps toward
a process -- as the man states in the chapter Rough
Justice -- for which the current justice system is inadequate
to handle. Guatemala's courts are terribly corrupt.
Perhaps, a truth and reconciliation
panel is what's needed.
Thank you for providing this window
into our not-so-distant neighbor to the South.