Columnist Alvaro Contreras Velez waved a blunt, black pistol. He held it with firm delicacy, his little finger extended elegantly. “I take this everywhere I go,” he said. He slipped the piece back into his desk drawer then seated himself on the couch. He talked about Guatemala, the most beautiful of the Central American states, the most populous, yet a dark and dangerous place. He said he thought his people were tired of military rule. It has been interminable in their history. They would probably vote against General Anibal Guevara and for one of his three civilian opponents in the elections of March 7, three days away.
General Romeo Lucas Garcia's time in office had run out and General Guevara was the government's hand-picked candidate. Urgent needs were pressing upon the regime: helicopters, possibly napalm, and weapons of a heavier order than they could get from Israel, their regular supplier.