I remember him at odd times, a small quiet man whose scars on his thumbs spoke far more about his suffering than his own words could. He had come to the United States after witnessing Guatemalan army soldiers decapitate his wife and children. He himself had escaped death by leaping from the cliff where the soldiers had brought the family to die. All of this took place back in 1983 in the Quiche region of Guatemala, while the Guatemalan military waged war on their fellow citizens.
The soldiers had bound the poor man’s thumbs together with copper wire; thus the scars.
His name was Francisco. I met him in 1988, when he came by the parish office looking for a couple of nights’ hospitality while his asylum application was processed. His family’s murder had been a part of Plan Sofia, a military “pacification” operation that targeted Mayan Indians for extermination. Francisco’s grounds for asylum would seem ironclad, but in his case, the evidence for the claim were inconvenient for the US government. Operation Sofia was planned, ordered and carried out by American-trained and supervised military leaders. This connection to us (the US) bears repeating. Our responsibility for the atrocities has been documented by peer-review quality research papers, captured in movies, published by the Archdiocese of Guatemala City, and found, as well, in the scars on Franciso’s thumbs. Read On
Exclusive: Allan Nairn Exposes Role of U.S. and New Guatemalan President in Indigenous Massacres
From: Democracy Now!
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Author: Michael Seifert
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama; happily residing in Brownsville, Texas.