Call Attention to Ronald Reagan’s Criminal Involvement in Guatemalan Genocide

Target: Illinois Supreme Court

Goal: Label former president Ronald Reagan a criminal for his military and monetary support of Guatemalan genocide

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was defended by Ronald Reagan as being “a man of great personal integrity and commitment.” One of Rios Montt’s commitments was the genocide of over 2,000 Guatemalan indigenous people, for which he was recently convicted. Facilitating the former dictator’s mass murder was Ronald Reagan and his administration. Not only did Reagan back Rios Montt with military arms and monetary funding, he publicly supported the ruthless dictator with above statements and claims that Rios Montt was receiving a “bum rap.” The subsequent glorification of Reagan by media and right-wingers is added insult to injury. It is time the former president be labeled for what he is: a criminal.

The National Security Archive has released troves of declassified documents detailing Guatemala’s government abuses during the 1980s. Repeatedly implicated in the documents is Reagan and officials of his administration. Reagan was a supporter of Guatemalan human rights abuses prior to Rios Montt’s tenure, but his endorsement only increased once the violent dictator assumed office. Reagan removed a military embargo on Guatemala imposed by Jimmy Carter, an early demonstration of his support for their militant government. He then authorized multiple sales of millions of dollars worth of military hardware to the fascist nation, including an outrageous sale of $6 million in military arms during Rios Montt’s service.

All the while, Reagan and his officials were purposely misinforming the American public. The administration made outrageous claims such as that Guatemala’s government was victimized by communist-inspired propaganda when their own intelligence provided detailed contradictory evidence. CIA documents have exposed Reagan’s intimate knowledge of genocide committed by Rios Montt and subsequent Guatemalan leaders, yet this information consistently fails to reach mainstream channels that could inform the general population.

Beyond Reagan’s support of Rios Montt, his presidency is marred by his administration’s persistent support of human rights violators in nations like El Salvador, Argentina, and others. But his outspokenness and explicit endorsement of Guatemalan genocide cannot be overstated, and it should serve to incense people across the globe. The law (and logic) makes it impossible to prosecute a dead person, but it allows for the judicial inquiry of individuals implicated in crimes and can discover the irrefutable truth of their misdeeds. It is time to put a stop to Reagan’s near deification, and expose him as a true lord of crime. Call on the Illinois Supreme Court to open a judicial inquiry into Reagan’s crimes against humanity.


Dear Illinois Supreme Court,

I am writing this petition in the hopes that history can correct a tragic misconception. I am referring to the glorification of human rights abuser Ronald Reagan. Reagan and his administration explicitly supported crimes against humanity throughout his tenure as president. With the recent trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, the world has been reminded of Reagan’s passionate support of Rios Montt’s genocidal campaign against the Guatemalan indigenous people. It seems only appropriate that we begin the process of revising the erroneous holy record of Reagan by adding his name to the list of leaders implicit in the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

This is a petition calling for the state Supreme Court to open a judicial inquiry into Reagan’s crimes against humanity. If the man can no longer stand trial for his involvement in genocide amongst other heinous crimes, let history scrutinize his achievements and attest to the true nature of his presidency. Do not allow our future citizens to be hoodwinked by the bald-faced lies that circulate about Reagan’s greatness; he is a criminal, more so than most.


[Your Name Here]


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58 Signatures

  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
  • Ann Blank
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Carole Mathews
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
  • Debbie Biere
  • Amy McKeon
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