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Territory in Central America, ruled since 1985 by the República de Guatemala

Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala (Spanish: República de Guatemala), is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 15.5° N — Longitude: 90.25° W

Area: 108,889 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: GT

Birthplace of

Manuel Ayau, Manuel Francisco Ayau Cordón, in Guatemala, on 27 Dec 1925

Deathplace of

Manuel Ayau, on 4 Aug 2010

Measures of Freedom

Guatemala | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2024
2016: Status: Partly Free, Aggregate Score: 54, Political Rights: 4, Civil Liberties: 4
Months of protests over a corruption scandal as well as an investigation jointly carried out by Guatemala's Public Ministry and the UN-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) led to the resignations and arrests of dozens of government and private sector officials, including President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti Elías.
Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2023: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
2021: 7.09, Rank: 69, Personal freedom: 6.79, Economic freedom: 7.50
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 7.50, Rank: 34


An Anti-Democracy Foreign Policy: Guatemala, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 11 Feb 2005
Describes the 1954 CIA-engineered coup d'état in Guatemala and the subsequent military regimes, also touching on the attempts to seek regime change in Cuba and the 1973 CIA-supported ouster of Allende in Chile
[T]he target was the democratically elected president of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz, a self-avowed socialist whose domestic policies were ... modeled after the socialist New Deal policies ... [He] had two strikes against him ... as far as the CIA was concerned—his belief in socialism and his confrontation with a major U.S. corporation that had strong allies in the U.S. Congress ... On Sunday, June 27, 1954, ... Arbenz was ousted from office and fled Guatemala. The CIA replaced him with an unelected Guatemalan military dictator, Col. Carlos Castillo Armas, whom the CIA designated the "Liberator" ...
Give Freedom Its Turn in Latin America, by Manuel F. Ayau, Imprimis, Nov 1984
Paper delivered as part of a seminar in the Center for Constructive Alternatives; argues that problems in Latin American countries are systemic and are due to a "lack of understanding of the economic principles and ethics of a free society"
In Guatemala, a manufacturer of raw material urgently needs a spare part worth fifty dollars in the U.S. ... [T]he part is shipped by the most modern and fastest means ... [It] arrives in Guatemala the next day and there it sits in customs while papers are shuffled ... Two weeks later, the part arrives at the plant ... Just in management and bureaucratic effort, this fifty-dollar part can end up costing more than one thousand dollars ... Take the electric power generating industry ... After twenty years, since it became a government monopoly, the whole generating apparatus has become uneconomical.
Improve the CIA? Better to abolish it, by Chalmers Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Feb 2004
Lists countries where the CIA conducted subversive operations and recommends abolishing the agency.
Since the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953, the CIA has engaged in similar disguised assaults on the governments of Guatemala (1954); the Congo (1960); Cuba (1961); Brazil (1964); Indonesia (1965); Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (1961-73); Greece (1967); Chile (1973); Afghanistan (1979 to the present); El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua (1980s); and Iraq (1991 to the present) -- to name only the most obvious cases.
Killing in the Name of Democracy, by James Bovard, Attention Deficit Democracy, 27 Jan 2006
Excerpt from the chapter 4 "Messianic Democracy" of Bovard's Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), details various U.S. presidents' policies and actions from McKinley to Eisenhower
In 1954, the CIA aided a military coup in Guatemala that crushed that nation's first constitutionally based government. The elected Guatemalan government and the United Fruit Company could not agree on the value of 400,000 acres that the [former] wanted to expropriate to distribute to small farmers. The Guatemalan government offered $1.2 million ... Washington insisted on behalf of United Fruit that the value was $15.9 million ... the U.S. government got miffed over a 1954 Guatemalan government buyout offer helped produce decades of repressive rule and the killings of hundreds of thousands of Guatemalan civilians.
The Secret State, by Carl Oglesby, 19 Dec 1991
Details various events from the dismantling of the Office of Strategic Services after World War II to the 1991 death of Danny Casolaro, which Oglesby said are reason to be worried about "a secret and invisible state within the public state"
1954: Operation Success
The CIA spent $20 million to overthrow the democratically elected Jacabo Arbenz in Guatemala for daring to introduce an agrarian reform program that the United Fruit Company found threatening. General Walter Bedell Smith, CIA director at the time, later joined the board of United Fruit. [John Ranalegh, The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987) ..., p. 268]

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Guatemala" as of 19 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.