Guatemala: Quick Fix

Rios Montt ponders a promise

The actors, the props, even the scenario were familiar. Apparently sniffing out plans for at least the seventh coup since he seized power one year ago, Guatemala's President Efrain Ríos Montt last week declared an official "state of alarm" to muzzle his critics. Under the new orders, privately owned firearms are to be confiscated, political meetings are forbidden and nothing may be published or broadcast that might "disturb the peace of Guatemala." The government also reserved the right to search homes at will and to arrest anyone suspected of Marxist-Leninist activities. For the moment, at...

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