Thursday, January 19, 2012

LAND, POWER AND POVERTY, a book by Professor, Charles D. Brockett in 1987 on GUATEMALAN HISTORY.

WITH THE ELECTION OF A RETIRED ARMY GENERAL IN GUATEMALA AS PRESIDENT, VOWING TO RULE WITH AN IRON FIST. STUDENTS OF GUATEMALAN HISTORY WOULD DO WELL TO READ: The book; LAND, POWER, AND POVERTY, ending with events of historical significance in 1987. Not so long ago! ( 20 years ) The book written by Professor Charles D. Brockett in 1987 depicted an era of ruthless exploitation of the citizens of Guatemala by the military.

This book can also be read online. Since that time in 1987, the ARMY was downsized and the Generals of that era were retired. Guatemala since then, is not recognizable today, as the same country, described in this book of Guatemalan History. Advances for the general population have been many, and the infra-structure projects have brought modern living to even the most remote rural citizens of Guatemala. Today, Guatemala is a modern country, with living standards on a par with those in the USA. All this success has been due to a government run by civil society. Like any civil government, there are scandals, crime, Presidents who traditionally steal through FAKE, government programs, to build their private bank accounts in Panama. The normal events of a civil government. Judge for yourself! Nothing under civil government has been, and probably could not be as BAD AS THAT, that went before, under military rule; mostly back then 20 years ago, and financed by the depredations of the USA.

It is the end of the Mayan Calendar, one can only wonder at the political changes to come for Guatemala, in the GREAT CYCLES of change, predicted by the Mayan Calendar, great wheel, due to hit Guatemala in 2013?

The first casualty of PEACE for Guatemala, will probably be the 2004, LAW; that set the limit for a GUATEMALAN military budget, at .33 of GDP. In truth, Guatemala has no need for a military. They do need FEDERAL POLICE SWAT TEAMS AND TRAINED "GANG SUPPRESSION UNITS". They do not need the military EVER AGAIN, if they are wise?

Peace accords in 1996 ( 15 years ago ) that ended 36 years of fighting between leftist rebels and government forces ordered the army be slashed in size, dwindling from a 50,000-strong force to a huge overbloated 17,000 soldiers today, for a military that has no purpose, since there is no external enemy and Guatemala is friends with all her neighbors. Dozens of military bases, including one in Alta Verapaz, were closed. Just 15 years ago. The strides in improvement in the material standard of living in Guatemala, including rural areas; can only be described as gigantic under civilian only rule. Guatemalans today live on a par with citizens of the USA and Canada. The Guatemalan military is still very oversized for the limited acceptable functions it could be used for, in a peaceful society, with a growing GDP. Indeed, a Guatemalan military of less than 75 people, organized in Emergency Disaster Management, and Crime Suppression Units, would be more successful and acceptable than the current 17,000 soldier army. Which has no external enemy to fight. Current levels of crime are mostly traced to the effect of USA DRUG GANGS operating in the USA, whose need for transport from South America to the USA for illicit drugs, drive the turmoil in Central America. The crime ridden USA gangland society, is the cause of the biggest problems in Central America.

A regular turnover of corrupt police officers would be more successful, than increasing the military budget in Guatemala; which already has exceeded the law of 2004, supposedly limiting military costs to .33 of GDP. Currently military spending is at .4 of GDP. The wrong way to go!

Soldiers earn as little as $150 a month and are hired on a temporary basis. High salaries offered by the drug cartels often convince troops to switch sides. The Zetas, originally formed by Mexican army deserters, have been known to recruit elite Guatemalan troops known as Kaibils who are trained in jungle warfare and infamous for brutal civil-war era abuses. The occasional massacres within Guatemala, by these elements of USA drug gangs horrify the ordinary citizens. Professional training and funding of small, mobile, elite Gang Suppression Units are the solution needed in Guatemala and the funds wasted on a bloated 17,000 military, should be re-allocated and the military which has no purpose in Guatemalan society, downsized to a maximum of 100 persons or less. This huge Guatemalan military, too big for the country, with no acceptable purpose, can only if resurrected lead to further turmoil, abuses and civil war in the future.

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