Ojo Por Ojo

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Ojo Por Ojo

Ojo por Ojo (Eye for an Eye), a right-wing terrorist group in Guatemala, emerged from the escalating violence of the late 1960s. Although it formally initiated operations in April 1970, some of its members were linked to the Mano Blanca, a terrorist group that had been operating since 1966. Like the other paramilitary groups, it was formed to check the success of the guerrilla movement in eastern Guatemala. Organized and supported by wealthy landowners and the military, Ojo por Ojo likely received assistance and encouragement from high-ranking government officials. One of its alleged leaders, Mario Sandovál Alarcón, was a prominent right-wing politician involved in the 1954 "liberation" and the subsequent purging of alleged communists. Sandovál invoked the biblical injunction to take an eye for an eye to justify terrorist attacks on suspected leftist sympathizers. Ojo por Ojo targeted the "brains behind the guerrillas" at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala City.

See alsoGuatemala, Terrorist Organizations: Mano Blanca .


Milton Henry Jamail, "Guatemala 1944–1972: The Politics of Aborted Revolution" (Ph.D. diss., University of Arizona, 1972).

Susanne Jonas and David Tobis, eds., Guatemala (1974), esp. pp. 176-203.

James Dunkerley, Power in the Isthmus (1988), esp. pp. 456-461.

Additional Bibliography

Grandin, Greg. The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

Menjívar, Cecilia and Néstor Rodriguez. When States Kill: Latin America, the U.S., and Technologies of Terror. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005.

Saavedra, Alfredo. El color de la sangre: 40 años de represión y de resistencia en Guatemala. Guatemala: Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo, 2001.

                                             Paul J. Dosal