Guatemala’s highest court, ruling on appeals filed by the defense, has annulled former dictator Jose Efrain Ríos Montt’s 80-year sentence for genocide and crimes against humanity. The Constitutional Court declared invalid all proceedings that took place after April 19, including the verdict and sentencing. Whether the trial can be picked up again from that date is unclear. What is clear, however, is that the trial has lifted the curtain on Guatemala’s bloody past. The verdict reached far beyond the question of how a man who once commanded a brutal army will spend his last years.
More than two years after peaceful demonstrators took to the streets to demand reforms, Bahrain’s uprising has not abated. Activists and opposition groups continue to demand the basic human rights and political reforms promised to them by their government. Rather than meet the opposition’s calls for reform, the government of Bahrain has responded by subjecting citizens to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, interrogation, torture, and abuse.
We’ll start with the gold of Havana’s women,
who hearing you needed money for your revolutionary war
offered their wedding rings and necklaces,
to be melted,
to finance your white-wigged revolution
Spurred on by the deaths of hundreds of Iraqi civilians each month this year, and by persistent complains about the government’s poor performance and rising authoritarianism, Iraqi demonstrators are now taking matters into their own hands. With ever louder chants of effective governance from certain sectors of the country, what Iraq may be going through is its own version of the Arab Spring movement—smaller and less universal, but equally empowering to those who are in the middle of it.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons and Iran’s purported nuclear ambitions are the subject of constant speculation by Western pundits. However, the connection between the two is often overlooked. Although Northeast Asia and the Middle East are home to different geopolitical realities, the resolution of tensions on the Korean peninsula will almost certainly influence calculations made in Washington and Tehran regarding the Iranian nuclear program.