Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit Guatemala Under General Efrain Rios Montt, 1982-1983


Between 1982 and 1983, in the name of anti-communism the military government of Guatemala prosecuted a scorched-earth campaign of terror against largely Mayan rural communities. Under the leadership of General Efrain Rios Montt, tens of thousands of people perished in what is now known as la violencia, or 'the Mayan holocaust.' Rios Montt, Guatemala's president-by-coup was, and is, an outspokenly born-again Pentecostal Christian and many Guatemalans converted to Pentecostalism during this period, as Garrard-Burnett argues, because of the affinity between these churches' apocalyptic message and the violence of their everyday reality.Drawing on newly-available primary sources such as guerrilla documents, evangelical pamphlets, speech transcripts, and declassified US government records, Garrard-Burnett is able to provide a fine-grained picture of what happened during Rios Montt's rule.

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