RealNews

Trimmer Guatemalan Army Assumes New Peacetime Mission

Guatemala’s army entered a new era on Wednesday after dropping more than 11,000 from its ranks as part of a modernization program mandated by the 1996 accords that ended the nation’s bloody civil war. “This June 30 marks a historic change in the evolution of the army as an institution, with a change in design and mission in terms of both strategy and operations,” Guatemalan President Oscar Berger said in a speech commemorating the 133rd anniversary of the founding of the army, which now numbers only 15,500. Berger praised the army’s contribution to building the nation’s democracy, which is still in the process of consolidation, and recalled that the Dec. 29, 1966, peace accords established the historic challenge of modernizing the army. Full Story

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