Who is Efraín Ríos Montt?

Efraín Ríos Montt
Political figure
José Efraín Ríos Montt is a former de facto President of Guatemala, dictator, army general, and former president of Congress. A General in the Guatemalan Army, Ríos Montt came to public office through a coup d’etat on March 23, 1982. Wikipedia
Born: June 16, 1926 (age 86), Huehuetenango
Party: Guatemalan Republican Front

The former president of Guatemala is standing trial for genocide.  A group of retired soldier and their relatives launched a campaign on Monday to deny that genocide was carried out in Guatemala and to demand a fair trial.  In the meantime testimonies are being recorded from survivors of the Ixill Maya villages that were obliterated during Rios Montt’s terms in office.

It’s hard sometimes to look back at the past and judge fairly.  But in my book Shaman Priest Maria Elena Rendon in 1976, wonders if the new President-elect (He was not allowed to take office in 1976.) will come to her First Communion outside Heuhuetenango and is shocked to learn that not everyone is Catholic.  

When Maria Elena’s entire family is killed many suspect the government.  Rios Montt is a name Maria Elena will never forget.  

When Maria Teresa’s father is killed fighting against guerrilla groups in the lowlands another child’s life is irrevocably changed. 

When Domingo Chuc comes home only to discover the massacre of his entire village he vows to seek revenge for his family and for his people.

Domingo, Maria Teresa, and Maria Elena are characters in a book, but the incidents that take place are real, taken from newspapers and personal experience between 1966 and 1986.

Want to know why Rios Montt stands trial today for genocide that took place thirty years ago?  Read the Shaman Priest by Karen Hopkins.  Available on Kindle for $2.99.  It is a great story filled with love and hope, set in a time of death and horror.  

After you read it let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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