Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García

Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García

Kjell Eugenio Laugerud García (born 24 January 1930 in Guatemala City), the son of a Norwegian father and Guatemalan mother, was President of Guatemala from 1 July 1974 to 1 July 1978.

Laugerud received part of his military training in the United States, attending classes at Fort Benning, Georgia, and at Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He served as Guatemalan delegate to the Inter-American Defense Board between 1968 and 1970. [United States. Southern Command. "Brigadier General (Ret.) Kjell Laugerud Garcia". February 1976. Digital National Security Archive (DNSA).]

Laugerud had been chief of the army staff and defense minister under President Carlos Arana, then was elected president in a March 1974 vote that was marred by violence and charges of fraud. His candidature had been endorsed by both the military-backed Institutional Democratic Party and the far right National Liberation Movement. During his term, Guatemala experienced a disastrous earthquake in 1976, and had continuing disputes with neighboring Belize. In 1977, after the Carter administration published a report critical of the human rights situation in Guatemala, Laugerud announced that the country would no longer accept US military aid. Guatemala did in fact receive funds that had already been appropriated for that year, and later turned to other nations, such as Israel, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Taiwan, and Yugoslavia for military aid and arms supplies. [http://shr.aaas.org/guatemala/ceh/mds/spanish/cap1/reorg.html#Ref198]

Just before the end of his term, Laugerud was also faced with the consequences of a stand-off between Kekchi Indians and the military in Panzós, in which 53 unarmed civilians were killed by the Army, and another 47 were wounded. [http://assets.cambridge.org/052184/083X/excerpt/052184083X_excerpt.htm]

In 1983, Laugerud and three other ex-presidents were forced to retire from the army.


External links

* [http://www.rulers.org/indexl1.html Capsule biography] From Rulers.org; search for "Laugerud"
* [http://shr.aaas.org/guatemala/ceh/mds/spanish/cap1/reorg.html#Ref198 Guatemala Memoria del Silencio] Historical Clarification Commission (Guatemala's Truth Commission) on 1971-78 (in Spanish)

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