Arana Osorio, Carlos (1918–2003)

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Arana Osorio, Carlos (1918–2003)

Carlos Arana Osorio (b. 17 July 1918, d. 6 December 2003), president of Guatemala (1970–1974). Born in Barbareña, Santa Rosa, Arana pursued a military career. Graduating from the Escuela Politécnica in 1939, he rose rapidly as a military officer, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1952. During the presidency of Julio César Méndez Montenegro (1966–1970), he directed a counterinsurgency campaign that earned him the title "Butcher of Zacapa." Allegedly head of the Mano Blanca (White Hand), a right-wing terrorist organization, he was implicated in the plot to delegitimize the left by kidnapping archbishop Mario Casariego in 1968.

In 1970 Arana was elected president in a campaign marked by violence and fraud. His presidency was characterized by repression and economic nationalism. State planning produced marked increases in public investment and economic growth. After leaving office he remained politically influential through the CAN (Central Auténtica Nacional), until a few years before his death in 2003.

See alsoGuatemala .


George Black, Garrison Guatemala (1984).

Michael McClintock, The American Connection, Vol. 2, State Terror and Popular Resistance in Guatemala (1985).

James Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus: A Political History of Modern Central America (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Schirmer, Jennifer G. The Guatemalan Military Project: A Violence Called Democracy. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

Sichar Moreno, Gonzalo. Guatemala, contrainsurgencia o contra el pueblo?: Crónica de una guerra no declarada y una paz firmada: Historia de los partidos políticos guatemaltecos. Madrid: H+H, 1998.

                                      Roland H. Ebel

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Arana Osorio, Carlos (1918–2003)

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