Central America: The Coup That Got Away

A born-again general steals a junior officers' revolt in Guatemala

A born-again general steals a junior officers' revolt in Guatemala

It was done quickly, quietly and with stunning precision. At 8 a.m. last Tuesday 20 junior officers stalked into a barracks at the Mariscal Zavala Brigade's headquarters on the outskirts of Guatemala City. Heavily armed and dressed in camouflage battle fatigues, they announced to their comrades: "The coup is on. Are you with us or against us?"

The same scene was played out at barracks across the country, and, with few exceptions, Guatemala's junior officer corps closed ranks behind the insurgents. Tanks, armored...

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