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Making the New Illegal : How Decades of Us Involvement in Central America Triggered the Modern Wave of
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A damning indictment of US complicity in supporting Central American regimes that have committed atrocities against their indigenous Indian populations, with a particular focus on GuatemalaIt has been called "a silent holocaust": From 1960 to 1996, a genocidal campaign against the indigenous Mayan people of Guatemala was waged by authoritarian right-wing governments, yet the world at large paid little attention. Most Americans know next to nothing about this human-rights outrage, even though their tax dollars have been used to support the brutal Guatemalan regimes that committed the atrocities. For decades successive administrations have acted as enablers, trainers, funders, and suppliers to the murderers. This book documents this tragic Guatemalan history, revealing that Guatemala is a particularly hideous example of similar abuses in Central America also supported by US advisors, military training, and financial support. The author, a humanitarian aid worker and activist, points out that much of today's immigration controversy has been exacerbated by misguided US meddling in the internal affairs of Central American countries. The justifications for this interference range from drug interdiction and stemming the tide of unauthorized immigration to the threat of terrorism.The result has been untold suffering on the part of this region's poorest people and desperate attempts to flee their native countries, creating refugee controversies not only for the US but for Mexico as well. The author concludes by noting that Guatemala succeeded in establishing a national genocide trial in 2013, which found former US-backed President Efrain Rios Montt guilty; however, the verdict was later annulled. But protesters in Guatemala continue to demand the ouster of top government officials over corruption charges. This book is a plea for Americans to demand a similar accounting and to protest our government's support of this repressive regime and others like it in Central America.