Guatemala leader apologises for 1954 coup - Americas - Al Jazeera English
The Guatemalan president, Alvaro Colom, has issued an official apology to the family of the former president Jacobo Arbenz, 57 years after a US-backed coup violently removed him from power.
Colom, who apologised under a settlement worked out with Arbenz’s family by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, said on Thursday the coup was a “crime [against] the Guatemalan society committed by the CIA and Guatemalans with bad intentions”.
Arbenz was only the second freely elected president in Guatemala. Dubbed "the Soldier of the People”, he had promised to redistribute land to impoverished indigenous communities much to the ire of massive US agricultural investors in the country.
He was overthrown on June 27, 1954, in a coup led by Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas that was engineered by the US Central Intelligence Agency.
The coup helped trigger a 36-year civil war, according to Colom.