• Short Summary

    For more than four years the peasants were the allies of Guatemalas Communist guerrillas and the Sierra de las Minas mountains their domain. "Ninety percent of the peasants in Zacapa province where the guerrillas operate, followed them", the new army commander here said, "there was no other authority." The army was in its base, tending to traditional military affairs.

  • Description

    For more than four years the peasants were the allies of Guatemalas Communist guerrillas and the Sierra de las Minas mountains their domain. "Ninety percent of the peasants in Zacapa province where the guerrillas operate, followed them", the new army commander here said, "there was no other authority." The army was in its base, tending to traditional military affairs. These films were taken nine months ago. The Zacapa commander at that time admitted that he received virtually no intelligence from the peasants of the region, who have to be the major source of information if counter-guerilla operations are to succeed. The army made relatively few forays outside the base.

    Now, however, theres been a dramatic change. Six companies of troops are in the field constantly. Under a new commander, brought back from Washington where he was military attache, the Guatemalan army for the first time in years has the guerrillas seriously on the run in Zacapa. Both the civilian government and the army is wooing assiduously with five away programs; food, medical care, even swings and see-saws for the children. The program is paying off. Now the army has been able to arm peasants and form them into self-defense teams with confidence that the campesinos won't join the rebels and turn the arms against the military. More important than give-aways, is the armys continuous presence it the backlands. The military has the confidence of the peasants, their respect and their fear. It's better for the peasants in all respects to cooperate with the army than with the guerrillas. The army received a stroke of good fortune a couple of months ago when an automobile accident took the life of the rebel commander. Subsequently government forces killed the number three rebel in a fire fight. This scene illustrates the change that hs overtaken the Zacap countryside. A farmer stops a lt. colonel to show a shirt he has found and some empty cans. The shirt bears the insignia of the Rebel Armed Forces. The cans found with it indicate that guerilla forces have been in the neighborhood. In this way the back of the rural rebellion is being broken. Defeats in the Backlands don't mean Guatemalas Communist terrorists are finished. Terrorism in the capital is on the upswing. There are more places to hide..and, more targets. Tom Streithorst, NBC NEWS, Guatemala City....

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEJ0QOAVOHGA6L5SEOX90618RR
    Media URN:
    VLVAEJ0QOAVOHGA6L5SEOX90618RR
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/12/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:08:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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