August 14, 2005

Costa Rica, part 5 (brief)

Lest you think I'd forgotten about fellow Delawarean Dana Garrett's contention that Costa Rica was home of "mass killings" and "death squads" back in the 80s, well, I didn't. The only evidence he was able to provide (via e-mail) was a single sentence from a Counterpunch article from 2002:

Political murders like the shooting of a Catholic archbishop in Cali (he was a sharp critic of the paramilitaries, guerrillas, and the government, and his death remains a mystery), and the mass killings and disappearances of peasants, trade unionists, human rights activists, leftists, and anyone suspected of sympathizing with these have characterized the conflict, which has exhibited marked similarities with the political violence that tore apart El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica twenty years ago.

As I've vigorously maintained, there's just one small problem with this. It isn't true.

Take what Dr. M, the professor who took my University of Delaware group to CR back in '86, said about Garrett's (Counterpunch's) contention. Keep in mind, too, that Dr. M, as I noted in my first post about CR, is quite the leftist:

I think your friend is off base on CR. I spent a lot of time in Central America in the 80's including a 5-month stint in Nicaragua in 85. The paramilitaries were very active in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador...much of it financed by the US gov't. Costa Rica never had a strong leftist there was no reason for paramilitary units to form. Ask your friend for documentation. 2 bits says he has none.

Two bits are now in your pocket, Doc.

Posted by Hube at August 14, 2005 10:04 AM | TrackBack

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