Against the Current No. 214, September/
Facing the Long J6 Riot
— The Editors
What the Cuban Protests Reveal
— The Editors
One Member, One Vote: Taking Back Our Union
— Dianne Feeley
Alabama Strike Continues
— Zack Carter and Dianne Feeley
On the Brink of the Abyss
— Daniel Tanuro
Life Under the Heat Dome
— Sally Moore Goldman
Why Do Socialists Oppose Zionism?
— David Finkel
An Ethnic Cleansing Rampage
— David Finkel
On Israel's New Government
— Suzi Weissman interviews Yoav Peled
- Whistleblower Hero: In Praise of Daniel Hale
- Guatemala: Strike and Crisis
Confronting Voter Suppression
— Malik Miah
Thaddeus Stevens: Bourgeois Revolutionary
— Bruce Levine
Rosa Luxemburg & Trotsky
— Michael Löwy
Hindu Exceptionalism and COVID-19
— Mona Bhan and Purnima Bose
- Review Essay
Adrienne Rich, Trailblazer
— Peter Drucker
A Memoir of Anti-Racist Struggle
— Dick J. Reavis
Inner Lives in Hard Times
— Lukas Moe
A Study in "Populist" Racism
— Yoav Peled
Dialectics of Progress and Regression
— Jake Ehrlich
Challenges for Democratic Socialists
— Dan Georgakas
The Many Lives of Money
— Folko Mueller
Reading Walter Benjamin Politically
— Joe Stapleton
A NATIONAL STRIKE led by Indigenous Guatemalans, as well as an institutional crisis over the peremptory firing of anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval, are shaking that Central American country.
Sandoval, forced to flee the country after his firing, has been investigating corruption linked to Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei.
Sandoval has been replaced by Rafael Curruchiche, who previously served as an Electoral Crimes prosecutor. In that capacity Curruchiche refused to issue an arrest warrant against former president Jimmy Morales, and more recently moved to arrest anti-corruption figures Juan Solorzano and Anibal Arguello.
Successive U.S. administrations have been pretty indifferent to rampant corruption and atrocities in Guatemala, particularly during the genocidal counterinsurgency war of the 1970s and ’80s, but the Biden administration appears to be concerned at least with appearances.
“Guatemalan Attorney General Consuelo Porras’ July 23rd decision to remove Special Prosecutor Against Impunity, or FECI, Chief Juan Francisco Sandoval fits a pattern of behavior that indicates a lack of commitment to the rule of law and independent judicial and prosecutorial processes,” said a U.S. State Department spokesperson. “As a result, we have lost confidence in the attorney general” and her intention to combat corruption.
Some U.S. visa restrictions have been placed on Guatemalan, Honduran and Salvadoran officials whom the State Department “believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy or the rule of law.”
There was no indication that Porras has been affected by widespread international criticism, or that much of anything will change while U.S.-Guatemalan military ties remain intact.
Responding to Sandoval’s firing and other abuses including corruption in the provision of COVID vaccines, Indigenous leaders called a national strike on July 29 over the government’s corruption and the rule of economic elites, the military, and drug traffickers at the expense of the population’s lives and dignity.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of August a new law went into effect sharply limiting the work of NGOs, potentially criminalizing human rights defenders.
See: “Tensions Escalate as Guatemalan Attorney General Remains Defiant and National Strike Continues,” Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA, August 6, 2021.
September-October 2021, ATC 214