Monday, July 02, 2007

Of the Kaibiles

Some of our more attentive readers, or perhaps just the emotionally needy ones, will recall that in a previous, slightly jumpy (ok, we admit it, schizophrenic) post about Belize, your faithful correspondents promised you more detail about a contact working on a special assignment training with the Guatemalan version of the Green Berets. We weren't kidding. Upon further reflection, however, we have determined that given certain exigencies of our other, more lucrative, employment, we should not in this forum editorialize about the Kaibiles, or Guatemalan Green Berets.

So, just the facts. Apparently, in training to work as the Defense Attaché in a Latin American Embassy, many of our men in uniform actually go through the officers' training classes of our Latin American allies. Guatemala is one of those allies, and so, a Major friend of ours from the Embassy has spent his months here training with the Guatemalan army. One of their tasks, as it was described to this civilian, involved hanging out in the jungle for a couple days, running up mountains in the middle of the night, swimming down rivers, and such. I would have imagined these to be tasks more befitting an enlisted man, but I will again caveat my complete ignorance of such matters.

Anyway, on our way up to Belize by road, all of four weeks ago at this point, we stopped to pick our Major friend up from his jungle outpost, which happened to be on the way. Said outpost (see illustration, supra) features castle-turret themed guard posts along the perimeter, and a sign that translates as: "The Kaibiles of Guatemala / Respected by their adversaries / Loved by their people / Have a nice trip."

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