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Friday, June 14, 2013

Rios Montt and Arpaio: Where Impunity Reigns


by Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez

In Guatemala, former dictator Rios Montt was first found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity, and then the Supreme Court overturned the verdict. His 80-year sentence was also vacated. A few days later, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona, was slapped down by US District Court Judge Murray Snow. The federal judge ordered him to halt his racial profiling practices, particularly his immigration sweeps that target people of "apparent Mexican ancestry."

Sometimes there are news items that go together - even when they are apparently unrelated.  With Rios Montt, we have one of the biggest human rights violators in the history of humanity, who used the cover of religion to unleash the military against his own people.

Arpaio's face connotes something similar; the unbridled and unapologetic flaunting of raw (state) power and the wanton use of police powers to racially profile and destroy families, with the full backing of an electorate that continues to cheer him on.

For the full column, go to:

Rodriguez can be reached at:

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