Guatemala: From Preacher to Paratrooper

The army gives up on Rios Monti's born-again leadership

His downfall surprised no one except perhaps himself. Rumors of plots to oust him had circulated so often during the 16-month rule of Guatemalan President Efrain Rios Montt that observers lost count of the actual attempts. Had there been seven? Eight? Ten? Whatever the tally, last week's coup turned out to be for keeps. After a brief gun duel outside the National Palace in Guatemala City, the country's military leaders toppled Rios Montt and replaced him with Defense Minister Oscar Humberto Mejía Victores.

The change, at least initially, is likely to be...

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