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Justice Undone in Guatemala
Location: Hynson Lounge
CHESTERTOWN, MD— An expert on Central American politics will discuss the controversial outcome of the Rios Montt Trial in Guatemala when he visits Washington College Monday, Nov. 4. Michael Allison’s talk, “Justice Undone,” will take place at 7 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. Sponsored by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, it is free and open to the public.
Former Guatemalan dictator Gen. Efrain Rios Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity for the slaughter of thousands of indigenous villagers believed to be helping leftist rebels. The scorched earth brutality occurred after the general took power in a coup in 1982.
The trial’s verdict of guilt, issued in May of 2013, was hailed as a landmark for justice. At the time, Allison wrote on his blog, Central American Politics, that the ruling provided some justice to the persecuted Maya-Ixil population of Guatemala. Not two weeks later, however, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court overturned it.
Michael E. Allison is an associate professor of political science at the University of Scranton where he directs the Education for Justice program. His teaching and research interests concern the comparative study of civil war and civil war resolution, particularly as it relates to the transition of rebel groups to political parties. He has also published articles about international trade and conflict in journals such as The Latin Americanist, Studies in Comparative International Development, and Conflict Management and Peace Science.
Allison was a Fulbright Scholar to El Salvador in 1997 and recently returned from a Faculty Fulbright to Guatemala, where he researched the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity organization and its transition to a political party. He maintains a blog on Central American politics whose content is sometimes reproduced by the Christian Science Monitor. He also contributes regularly to the opinion section of Al Jazeera English.