Military Wiki

Arana (right) with US military advisors, 1965

Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio (17 July 1918 – 6 December 2003) was President of Guatemala from 1 July 1970 to 1 July 1974.

Carlos Arana was born in Barberena, in the department of Santa Rosa. A colonel in the Army, he was elected in an electoral process generally considered "non-transparent" on a platform promising a crackdown on law-and-order issues and stability; his vice president was Eduardo Cáceres. In November 1970, Arana imposed a "State of Siege" which was followed by heightened counterinsurgency measures. The government received continued large-scale military support from the United States, which provided weapons, technical support and military advisors to the security forces under Arana to assist in fighting the guerrillas. The systematic use of state-terrorism which emerged in 1966 under President Julio César Méndez persisted under Arana; government-sponsored "death squads" remained active and the security forces regularly detained, disappeared, tortured and extrajudicially executed political opponents, student leaders, suspected guerrilla sympathizers and trade unionists. It is estimated that over 20,000 Guatemalans were killed or "disappeared" under the Arana administration.[1]

Carlos Arana was the first of the string of Institutional Democratic Party military rulers who would dominate Guatemalan politics in the 1970s and 1980s (his predecessor, Julio César Méndez, while dominated by the army, was nominally a civilian). He also served as the ambassador to Nicaragua.

Carlos Arana was a Freemason, reaching the 33 degree of Soberan Grand Inspector General. All of his masonic records are stored in the Grand Lodge of Guatemala archives.


  1. Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA, 1989b

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Julio César Méndez
President of Guatemala
Succeeded by
Kjell Laugerud

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