Why are Guatemalans seeking asylum? US policy is to blame
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An estimated 10,000 people alone were killed in the first three months after a March 1982 military coup by President Reagan’s favorite “man of great personal integrity”, General Efraín Ríos Montt, trained at Fort Bragg, whose forces averaged 19 massacres per month. Whole villages (over 400 were destroyed) were literally burned off the face of their earth and their inhabitants killed, often gruesomely.
When people started fleeing the nightmare in record numbers (also from US-backed forces in El Salvador), the Reagan administration stepped up border security with methods first tried and tested in Guatemala’s US counterinsurgency “laboratory”.
Reagan denied asylum claims wholesale to people like Jakelin and her father by referring to them as economic migrants unworthy of asylum, instead of taking responsibility for creating the conditions of political economy that encompass both migrants and refugees. By 1984 a mere 0.79% of Guatemalan asylum applicants had their requests grants and, by the next year, Reagan was deporting 1,000 Central Americans per month back to the death squads. Then, as today, US civil society sanctuary efforts began.
“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
December 28, 2018 at 11:00 AM #5787CharlesParticipant
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The overwhelming majority of Americans have no clue what went on and it is so relevant to the immigration issues that are such a controversial topic today.
Hopefully Democracy Now, TYT, The Intercept, and others will pick up on this. The author, Gabrial M Shivone, deserves to be given air time to discuss this important point of view and information.
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Bernie: "Not Me. Us"
December 28, 2018 at 11:01 AM #5788
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