Terror, Right and Left

A bloody struggle rips Central America and endangers U.S. interests

The scene was an all too familiar tintype of armed repression and political turmoil, a fitting symbol for the upheaval of the decade. Staccato bursts of gunfire echoed through the streets. Clouds of tear gas hung in the air. A phalanx of blue-shirted policemen, equipped with gas masks and steel helmets, blocked the avenue in downtown Guatemala City. They trained their rifles on the six unarmed men who were advancing, like prisoners of war, with their arms held high. One of them clutched a large manila folder. Its contents: a letter to Guatemala's outgoing President, General Fernando Romeo Lucas GarcĂ­a, charging...

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