Mejía Victores, Oscar Humberto (1930–)

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Mejía Victores, Oscar Humberto (1930–)

Oscar Humberto Mejía Victores was chief of state of Guatemala (1983–1986). Brigadier General Mejía Victores served as minister of defense under Efraín Ríos Montt (1982–1983). After taking part in the 9 August 1983 coup d'état that ousted Ríos Montt from power, Mejía became chief of state, but declined to name himself president of the republic.

Guatemala's economy declined precipitously under Mejía's administration. However, Mejía oversaw the "transition to democracy" under which the military permitted the creation and promulgation of a new national constitution and the election of a civilian to the presidency. In 1986, Mejía stepped down to allow Marco Vinicio Cerezo Arévalo, a civilian and member of the Christian Democratic Party, to become president of the republic. In July 2006 the Spanish government issued warrants against Mejía and Ríos Montt. They were charged with genocide, torture, terrorism, and illegal detention. Human rights groups claim the two are responsible for some of the worst atrocities of Guatemala's civil war, in which by some estimates 200,000 people died. In a 2007 interview with the Associated Press, Mejía claimed that those events were in the past and therefore did not merit further discussion.

See alsoGuatemala .


Bettina Corke, ed., Who Is Who in Government and Politics in Latin America (1984).

Jean-Marie Simon, Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny (1987).

Additional Bibliography

García, Prudencio. El genocidio de Guatemala: A la luz de la sociología militar. Madrid, Spain: Sepha Edición y Diseño, 2005.

Perera, Victor. Unfinished Conquest: The Guatemalan Tragedy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Short, Nicola. The International Politics of Post-conflict Reconstruction in Guatemala. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Torres-Rivas, Edelberto. Guatemala: Causas y orígenes del enfrentamiento armado interno. Guatemala: F&G Editores, 2006.

                            Virginia Garrard Burnett

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Mejía Victores, Oscar Humberto (1930–)

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