Item description for Quien mato al obispo? (Spanish Edition) by Maite Rico...
Quien mato al obispo? (Spanish Edition) by Maite Rico
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2004
ISBN 9706909699 ISBN13 9789706909695
Reviews - What do customers think about Quien mato al obispo? (Spanish Edition)?
The real Item Mar 10, 2008
This book is the real item. Unfortunately, as Mr. Scanlon's review illustrates so many well-intentioned people, who have empathized with the Guatemalan people and the horrors they suffered at the hands of the Guatemalan army, have confused this extraordinary work of investigative journalism by de la Grange and Rico as a white-wash of military assasins. Not so! Just like all the rest of the well-intentioned folk, the authors began to cover the trial with a mutual enthusiasm that, perhaps, the army's long-standing impunity to civilian justice was about to be broken. The problem was that the facts (or lack of facts) that the prosecution presented just didn't add up to a conviction. But everyone was happy. Military officers had finally been convicted of a crime. It was an historic moment. All of us well-intentioned folk were applauding so loud that we didn't pay much attention to what the evidence really was.
But de la Grange and Rico were uneasy after covering the trial in its entirety. They began their own investigation at some peril to themselves. Because if these scapegoats weren't the real killers, whoever was had very powerful and dangerous connections to the Portillo/ Rios-Montt governement, which was the most corrupt in recent Guatemala history. It is not about defending "the military", but ditinguishing who's who in the military.
What was overlooked in our immediate enthusiasm for the fact that military impunity had apparently been broken is twofold: One, there is no such thing as a monolithic guatemalan military, but rather an institution riven by factions associated with different graduating classes of officers, by different areas such as intelligence or logistics, and by personal rivalries and animosities, that have become murderous since some former intelligence officers have turned their cold-war impunity to more profitable criminality that just mere murder. And two, what we lose sight of here with all our hopes for Guatemala and her people to have a peaceful, democratic future is that that future will remain impossible as long the judicial system can be manipulated by political and criminal powers. Without a completely independent and impartial judiciary system, Guatemala remains a street-fight without a referee.
What de la Grange and Rico have done here is to take a valiant stand for that future democracy by taking an internationally unpopular stance to which their investigation lead them. Ok,not these military officers, but, yes, perhaps some others,named and identified. The conviction had already been overturned once by an Appeals Court, but then ratified by a Supreme Court that had been stacked by the Portillo/Rios-Mont government. It is important to note that it wasn't at all an unpopular stance here in Guatemala, where there is little love for the army but where their book broke all best-sellers records and was widely praised by a population that had learned to distrust anything that came out of the Portillo/Rios-Monnt government.
For further details, please see my review and comments on the Francisco Goldman page.
This book has since been supplanted by Goldman's well-researched work Jan 8, 2008
I am truly sorry I bought this book, especially after reading the solid research in Goldman. In fact, the best thing you can do to know the true hagiography of the brutal beating, stoning and martyrdom of the great Bishop Gerardi is to get Francisco Goldman's well and transparently researched and well-written work of investigative reporting entitled The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?.
Goldman fully refutes this pressent deceptive work, which fails to identify sources but is clearly sourced by the same Guatemalan military which murdered the good Bishop two days after he presented a report with documentation of the decades of genocide by the Guatemalan military, which remains in power. That report was highly sanitized and expurgated and published in one quarter of its original length as Guatemala: Never Again! by the great Catholic publishing house Orbis Books, an organ of the Maryknoll Missionary Society which itself has suffered many martyrs in Guatemala and itself stores considerable documentation of the Guatemalan military regime of terror installed and supported and advised by the United States since deposing and murdering the elected president of Guatemala in the early nineteen fifties. See also Stephen Kinzer's Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, Revised and Expanded (David Rockefeller Center Series on Latin American Studies) and I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala.
But above all, do not waste money on this book, which is nothing but the Guatemalan military's feeble attempt to cover up its crime of murdering brutally Bishop Gerardi. Read Goldman instead for the facts of the case, which put judicially, incredibly and asystematically military officers behind bars for their direct involvement. But as in the cases of Jean Donovan, Ben Linder, Victor Jara, Archbishop Romero and so many others, we await the fuller investigation and imprisonment of the "intellectual authors" of these crimes against humanity.
A disturbing truth May 30, 2004
Sadly, books like this that seek to publish the truth are often ignored since they defend those who are usually seen as the oppressors. In this case, Guatemalan military officers are put to trial and sentenced in an elaborate scheme of political revenge. The book's authors admit to having gone in search of telling the story as it was told to the world -- that the Guatemalan military had masterminded the death of Bishop Gerardi. However, on finding that the evidence did not match the actual events, the authors set about trying to identify the true perpetrators of the crime. The research is incredibly thorough and merits praise. It is also a lesson on the fragil thread of evidence governments and NGOs rely on to make policy which shapes international opinion, and which when found to be unsubstantiated, remains uncorrected and is used for further political gain. This book out to be made into a movie to save those wrongly convicted. Of the three military officers in jail, one has been decapitated in prison, the other two remain there waiting justice.