(Updated Nov. 2, 2011; new items are designated with asterisk)
"LaRouche on the pact with terror in Guatemala" (excerpt from interview transcript, 1996). Complains that a "process of demobilizing the resistance against terrorism" is underway, and that Guatemala has "signed a pact of submission, in effect, to the terrorists..." In other words, LaRouche opposed the policy of replacing military rule and murderous civil war with a democratic system--he wanted the killing to go on. His prediction of a terrorist takeover in Guatemala (like most of his predictions) has been revealed over the last decade to be completely wrong.
LaRouche (1996) boasts about his relationship with the former Guatemalan death-squad regime. "During 1985...I assisted the government of Guatemala with technical advice on the matter of narco-terrorists within and athwart its national borders. The proximate outcome of this technical advice was one of the most successful anti-narco-terrorist operations of the 1980s, conducted entirely by sovereign forces of Guatemala, called 'Operation Guatusa.'"
LaRouche's security chief Jeffrey Steinberg makes excuses for the Guatemalan deaths squads (1986). Steinberg had become enamored of the Guatemalan army after accompanying soldiers on Operation Guatusa, which was actually a typical brutal incursion into the countryside (by his own admission, he was kept safely away from the front lines). He states in defense of the Guatemalan regime:
"The urban-based side of the insurgency buildup has been facilitated by the non-stop anti-Cerezo [he means Guatemalan President Vinicio Cerezo] agitation of the GAM, the so-called Mutual Support Group, which is the principal Guatemalan front of the international human rights mafia. Using doctored studies prepared by Amnesty International and OxFam, GAM is claiming 40,000 'disappeared' persons were killed by the Guatemalan 'death squads' over the past decade. GAM demands that Cerezo dismantle the armed forces and institute the kind of show-trials of the generals that President Alfonsin has carried out under IMF orders in Argentina."
The reference to Argentina reflected the viewpoint of LaRouche's ally Col. Seineldin, whose attempted coup d'etats were aimed at getting amnesty (and indeed, vindication) for Argentina's worst military and secret-police torturers, rapists and mass murderers.
Steinberg's U.S. activities in the 1980s led to his indictment in Boston federal court on felony obstruction of justice charges along with other LaRouche security operatives and the Boss himself. A mistrial ensued in 1988 after the Central Intelligence Agency failed to turn over files about the LaRouche org's relationship to the intelligence community that had been requested by defense lawyers in expectation that the CIA would stonewall the request, thus allowing the defense to possibly persuade jurors that the indictments of LaRouche and his associates on what were primarily credit card fraud charges were motivated by a vast government plot.
The gambit did not work for LaRouche in a second federal trial in Alexandria, Va. later that year in which he and several followers (not including Steinberg) were convicted of mail fraud.
LaRouche aides supposedly accompanied a Guatemalan military delegation to the Pentagon in 1985 to discuss the success of Operation Guatusa. This claim is made in a 2005 EIR polemic aimed at discrediting former Catholic members of the LaRouche organization whom LaRouche had purged over the preceding five years. Essentially LaRouche tries to blame all of his sinister activities in Latin America on these individuals. The absurdity of such a claim is shown by the preceding three files above. Read here the entire text of the polemic, which was written by convicted felon William Wertz (a key figure in LaRouche's loan scams in the 1980s).
* The "heroes" of Operation Guatusa. Here's a 2008 article from EIR that gives the details on LaRouche's mid-1980s collaboration--and that of his followers, including his security aides Herb Quinde and Jeff Steinberg--with the unspeakably brutal Guatemalan Army.
* Jeffrey Steinberg, Herbert Quinde and Operation Guatusa. Commentary by Lyndon LaRouche Watch on the 2008 EIR article, and on how the LaRouchians were attempting the sanitize the reputation of the Guatemalan death-squad regime.
* Guatemala Army good, U.S. liberals
bad evil. In the midst of this odious 1985 paen of praise by EIR staffer Gretchen Small for Central America's most genocidal death-squad regime--a paen laced with scorn for the "liberal press" and the U.S. State Department--we find some more facts about Operation Guatusa (see above). For instance, we're told about the documentary film that EIR made about Guatusa (released in August 1985 and shown at the Pentagon) which had a title identical to that of an EIR intelligence report, "Soviet Unconventional Warfare in Ibero-America: The Case of Guatemala," published the same month.
According to Small, the film (which for some reason the LaRouchians have not included on YouTube with their other fascist dreck) includes interviews with the Guatemalan Army's Col. Marco Antonio Castellanos Pacheco (later the chief of the Treasury Police, which was notorious for its vigilante methods) and Col. Hector Rosales. Both of these spokespersons for unrestrained political repression tried to run a con game on their (and LaRouche's) targeted DOD audience: It's not just Soviet-backed leftist guerrillas and landless peasants we're fighting against; it's Soviet-backed leftist narcoterrorist guerrillas and landless peasants!
And the colonels, with a little help from the PR experts at LaRouche Central, elaborate on this semantic trick with a bit of cognitive reframing: If you won't give us the money because you no longer believe the communist threat in Guatemala is great enough to warrant genocide, well, here's a new excuse: the war on drugs! Save American teenagers from the demon weed! See, we even raid marijuana plantations! We seize millions of dollars worth! (Sorry, guys, I flatly don't believe that what your army seized was simply destroyed, and that a large portion of it didn't end up on the streets of U.S. cities.)
And a little footnote on all this: when LaRouche security chief Jeffrey Steinberg was indicted in Massachusetts Federal court for obstruction of justice in 1986, the line was circulated in the Guatemalan press that he was the victim of a political frameup (hey, in Guatemala itself they didn't bother with frame-ups--they just disappeared you). Steinberg escaped conviction through a mistrial, but I wonder why he and other LaRouchians never got into the slightest legal trouble for failing to register as agents of a foreign power--Guatemala in this instance and Panama shortly thereafter. Guess there was still somebody in the U.S. intelligence community who found them useful. One of these days, we'll know who that "somebody" was.
* The truth about Guatemala in the mid-1980s. We couldn't find the 1985 LaRouche film documentary (see above), but here's a non-LaRouchian one from the following year that tells it like it really was in Guatemala, where two percent of the population owned three-quarters of the land and where the army had racked up absolutely the worst human rights record in the Americas. Includes some pretty disturbing footage of those generals and troops that the LaRouchians thought were such heroic defenders of the Guatemalan nation-state.