Turcios Lima, Luis Agosto (1941–1966)

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Turcios Lima, Luis Agosto (1941–1966)

Luis Agosto Turcios Lima (b. 1941; d. 2 October 1966), Guatemalan guerrilla leader. On 13 November 1960, Turcios Lima led young military officers in rebellion against the corrupt government of Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes (1958–1963). In the aftermath of a coup that lacked ideological direction, Turcios Lima became an advocate of communist revolution through guerrilla warfare and organized the Rebel Armed Forces (FAR) with fellow officer Marco Antonio Yon Sosa in 1962. Although Yon Sosa broke from the Communist Party and the FAR in 1965, Turcios Lima reluctantly accepted its decision to suspend military activity in order to give civilian president Julio César Méndez Montenegro (1966–1970) an opportunity to bring the reactionary military under control. The military, trained and supplied by the United States, rejected Méndez's reformist policies and launched a brutal campaign against the FAR following the accidental death of Turcios Lima. From the devastating losses suffered in the late 1960s, the rebel leaders of the 1970s concluded that there was no democratic alternative to armed revolution.

See alsoGuatemala; Ydígoras Fuentes, Miguel.


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

Jim Handy, Gift of the Devil: A History of Guatemala (1984), esp. pp. 230-234.

Additional Bibliography

Marroquín, Edgar Alberto. Turcios Lima: Éste síera comandante. Japala: Impr. Vásquez, 1998.

                                          Paul J. Dosal