John Gordon Mein

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John Gordon Mein (* 10. September 1913 in Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky; † 28. August 1968 in Guatemala-Stadt) war ein Botschafter der Vereinigten Staaten.

Leben[Bearbeiten | Quelltext bearbeiten]

Anfang 1959 leitete Mein die Abteilung Südwest-Pazifik im US-Außenministerium. 1964 war Mein Stellvertreter des US-Botschafters in Brasilien Lincoln Gordon. Unter dem Motto islands of administrative sanity versuchte die US-Regierung die Regierung von João Goulart in Brasilien zu isolieren. Einerseits wurde die Wirtschaftshilfe der US-Regierung für die brasilianische Bundesregierung unterbrochen. Andererseits wurden ausgewiesene Gegner unter den Gouverneuren der Bundesstaaten mit bis zu 100 Millionen Dollar unterstützt. Mein durfte einen militärischen Beistandspakt mit dem Außenminister General João Augusto de Araújo Castro unterzeichnen.[1]

In der Amtszeit von John Gordon Mein wurde in Guatemala das Abwerfen von Verdächtigen aus Hubschraubern als Maßnahme der asymmetrischen Kriegsführung eingeführt.[2] Im März 1968 war Mario Casariego y Acevedo in einer False-Flag-Aktion entführt worden. In der Folge ernannte Julio César Méndez Montenegro drei beteiligte hochrangige Militärs zu Botschaftern.[3]

John Gordon Mein wurde auf der Avenida Reforma erschossen. Es wird angenommen, dass ein Versuch der Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes ihn zu entführen, so scheiterte.[4]

John O. BellUS-Botschafter in Guatemala
22. September 1965 bis 28. August 1968
Nathaniel Davis

Einzelnachweise[Bearbeiten | Quelltext bearbeiten]

  1. David W. Dent, U.S.-Latin American policymaking: a reference handbook
  2. William Blum, Killing hope: US military and CIA interventions since World War II
  3. The murder of the American Ambassador, however, provoked renewed public calls for more, tough counter-insurgency measures, ensured a reinvigorated flow of US security assistance, and triggered a rash of "death-squad" killings under the aegis of the new Defence Minister, Colonel Rolando Chinchilla Aguillar and army chief of staff Colonell Doroteo Reyes. Before the Mein killing there is some record of terrorist assaults and bombings attributed to the FAR having been carried out by Guatemalan security services as a deliberate means to discredit the guerrilla movement, and to justify to the public extraordinary counter-insurgency measures. These were particularly frequent in the first months of 1966. United States counter-insurgency doctrine, moreover, provides for the legetimate use of such tactics to induce the public to accept subsequent harsh measures. That such actions might be extended to include clandestine actions against US personnel or property is conceivable in so far as the perpetrators could be assured that blame would be placed squarely on the leftist insurgents. In June 1966 National Security Advisor Walt Whitman Rostow brought to the attention of President Lyndon B. Johnson a cable from John Gordon Mein (dated 15 June) which advised the Department of State that he had learned of impending assassination attempts against both himself and German Ambassador Count Karl von Spreti. Ambassador Mein downplayed the urgency of the threat, although he said he had no doubts, of its authenticity. What is important, in the light of subsequent events, is that Mein insisted the threat probably came from the right not the left. The matter was taken extremely seriously in Washington: Rostow's memorandum to Johnson, with the cable attached, was on the President's desk the same day it left Guatemala City. On 31 March 1970 Karl Graf von Spreti was kidnapped when his car was intercepted by armed men. A ransom demand was made in the name of the FAR the group to which responsibility for John Gordon Mein's murder had been attributed. The kidnappers demanded the release first of 17, then 25 political prisoners (whose names were never made public) and $700000 ransom. The government outraged the diplomatic corps, and the German government, by refusing to negotiate. On 9 April an anonymous telephone call informed the Papal Nuncio that Count Von Spreti had been shot, and his body could be found at kilometre 17 on the road to San Pedro.134 Von Spreti was found shot once in the head. Unlike the killing of the American Ambassador, there were no claims that anyone apart from the FAR guerilla themselves was involved. This, moreover, was the third in a serie of spectacular kidnappings. Michael McClintock, The American connection
  4. Time, Sep. 06, 1968, Guatemala: Caught in the Crossfire