Churches Protest Rios Montt

The Conference of Evangelical Churches of Guatemala vigorously protested a ruling by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court that allows Gen. Efrain Ríos Montt to register as a presidential candidate in the upcoming Nov. 9 elections. According to the Evangelical Churches, Ríos Montt is legally barred from running "because he is directly responsible not only for the breakdown of constitutional order in 1982 but also for a repressive and brutal wave of terror that left thousands of dead and disappeared Guatemalans."

Others also spoke out against the ruling. Nery Rodenas, director of the Archbishop's Human Rights Office, said the ruling mocked Guatemalans. Nobel peace laureate Rigoberta Menchu said that the ruling was equivalent to a constitutional state coup. Ríos Montt called on his followers to demonstrate against any action that would prevent him from running for president, which provoked hundreds of people armed with sticks and machetes to march through Guatemala City.

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2003
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