OK, this NY Times article is an interesting story about a situation between El Salvador and Guatemala in which several important Salvadoreans were allegedly murdered by a Guatemalan death squad. Read the article, it's worthwhile. But what really caught my eye was a two-paragraph throw-away, as follows:
A high-ranking United Nations official here, who requested anonymity to protect his diplomatic neutrality, said he believed the Interior Ministry and the National Police created death squads over the last three years, trying to combat the wave of violent crime by gangs . . . .
The officers in those squads belong to evangelical churches, the official said, and see the extrajudicial killings of gang members, known here as “social cleansing,” as holy work. But they have also begun to commit crimes for their own profit. “It gets out of their hands,” the official said. “They create a Frankenstein.”
The picture presented in the cited text took my breath away. It is widely known that Evangelicalism is spreading like wildfire in Latin America, and has been for two or more decades. But that there is an intimate connection there between Bible-thumping and death squads was not known by me.
I'm posting this diary for two reasons: if in fact this is a major force in Latin America today, this Christian-justified "social cleansing", then more people need to know about it. And secondly, I'm really hoping that other denizens of dKos will post informative comments, because I'd really like to understand the dimensions and significance of the phenomenon.
I can't resist mentioning the obvious parallel between the kind of violence promoted by Shiite death squads, the Taliban, and even the strongly Wahhabist al-Qaeda, and "social cleansing" by evangically-oriented groups in Latin America. I mean, what's the world coming to?