The Illinois Congressman and the Dictator's Daughter

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The Illinois Congressman and the Dictator's Daughter Empty The Illinois Congressman and the Dictator's Daughter

Post by Earl on Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:13 pm

The Illinois Congressman and the Dictator's Daughter
Published: July 10, 2004

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., July 9 - A love story that raises memories of bloody repression in Central America has suddenly intruded into Illinois politics. Representative Jerry Weller, a Republican from the small farm town of Morris, surprised friends and supporters this week by announcing that he was engaged to a member of the Guatemalan congress. His fiancée, Zury Ríos Sosa, is the daughter of Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, a former Guatemalan dictator who presided over one of the most brutal military campaigns in modern Latin American history.

Mr. Ríos Montt, who is under house arrest pending trial on charges of organizing a political riot last summer, remains a major political figure in Guatemala. His daughter has for years been one of his principal advisers and strategists.

Because Mr. Weller is a member of the House Committee on International Relations and sits on its Western Hemisphere subcommittee, his newly announced tie to one of Guatemala's most notorious political figures has added spice to his re-election campaign. His opponent, Tari Renner, a political science professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, has made it a campaign issue.

"At the very least, Weller needs to repudiate the Ríos Montt regime and his party, and also resign from the international relations committee," Mr. Renner said. "This is not about private life. It's a matter that could affect not just policy, but national security. National security is not a personal issue. Genocide is not a personal issue."


"You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that.  You love another man? Well, now you've gone too far!" -- Dale Hansen, Dallas sports anchor for ABC local affiliate WFAA

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