By J. Power (Auth.)
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Extra resources for Amnesty International. The Human Rights Story
But they are multiplying and, to the surprise of observers of the Latin American scene, are winning a great deal of support and membership from the Indians. (When Che Guevara was hunted d o w n and killed by the Bolivian army in 1967, it was widely observed by both left and right that he made the mistake of thinking the Latin American Indians and mestizos would be willing supporters of the guerrillas. ) Guatemala is the first country where significant numbers of Indians have been politically active to the point of lending their support in measurable terms to the guerrilla effort to o v e r t h r o w the government.
Selling guns is a crude way of winning friends and influencing people. It is quicker and easier to administer an arms p r o g r a m than economic aid. It is also more profitable in the short term. The Russians seem especially to prefer it, in fact. In Africa, the Soviet Union spends about three times more on guns than butter. The third culprit is the competition between the Western nations themselves. At one time the United States was in the 42 arms trade business almost alone. These days both Britain and France are seriously at the game of outselling the Americans.
But it is also true that hopeful signs exist. Rapid changes have taken place, for example, in E u r o p e in the last few decades. T o r t u r e was used in recent times in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and certain Eastern European countries. It is n o w fair to say that than this are the occasional stories that have trickled out of Nicaragua and neighboring El Salvador of children being tortured in front of their parents. accepted by the E u r o p e a n H u m a n Rights Commission, Greece simply denounced the convention and withdrew its cooperation from the Amnesty investigation.