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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 101 / 153

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Guatemala moved into the 60’s with robust economic growth, a diversifying economy and a military government.

[1] Note the story of US involvement in Guatemala since the “liberation” of 1954… essentially, by the 1960s the US government had become an important constituent of the military: what the US government thought mattered.

[2] While the US provided aid for civic action projects (roads, schools, health clinics) the military rooted itself in all social institutions.

[3] As the military became more bold and open, the opposition came to the conclusion that the electoral process was impotent and that reform was only possible through armed struggle.

[4] Guerrilla groups formed as did right-wing vigilante terrorist groups in response… thus began the 36 year civil war (bloodiest period from 78 to 83) and the beginning of the “disappearances” in Latin America.

[5] You can read the details on pages 193 to 200.

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