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How appropriate. Right-wing extremists + Dictatorship = match made in heaven,
U.S. Congressman Marries Ex-Dictator's Daughter
Sat Nov 20, 5:51 PM ET
U.S. National - Reuters
By Frank Jack Daniel
ANTIGUA, Guatemala (Reuters) - A U.S. congressman married the daughter of
Guatemala's most notorious former dictator on Saturday in a controversial
wedding that took place in a high-walled compound ringed with razor wire.
Illinois Rep. Jerry Weller (news, bio, voting record) tied the knot with
Guatemalan lawmaker Zury Rios Sosa in the compound, just off a dusty road
between a building site and a volcano near Guatemala's colonial capital Antigua.
The couple, who met while Weller was on a visit to Guatemala, married in a civil
ceremony attended by Guatemalan military, politicians and the U.S. ambassador to
the Central American nation, John Hamilton.
Weller was re-elected in November despite questions from his opponent about his
choice of fiancee and a possible conflict of interest with some of his
He serves on the U.S. House of Representatives sub-committee for Western
Hemisphere Affairs that sometimes sees legislation concerning Guatemala.
"At the very least he should resign from the committee, it's a potentially
compromising relationship, in terms of his foreign affairs activity," said
Patricia Davis, of the Washington based rights group, the Guatemalan Human
Rios Sosa's father Efrain Rios Montt took power in a 1982 coup at the peak of
Guatemala's 36-year civil war, which pitted the army against leftist insurgents.
She is a high ranking member of her father's Guatemalan Republican Front party,
which held the presidency between 2000-2004, and is seen as a possible future
presidential candidate herself.
The retired general's de facto presidency is remembered for his weekly sermons
broadcast live on television and for a "scorched earth" campaign that killed
thousands of mostly civilian Mayan Indians.
The State Department has described Rios Montt's rule as "probably the most
violent period" of the war, in which around 200,000 people were killed or
disappeared. Rios Montt is under investigation for genocide charges.
At the time of the coup, Rios Montt was a pastor with the evangelical church
"Verbo," a born-again Christian mission with roots in the Californian hippie
movement, Jesus People.
After the ceremony, Rios Montt extolled the virtues of marriage. "Matrimony is
like a glorious, unblemished church," he said.
Rios Montt was obliged to ask the permission of a judge to attend the wedding.
The strongman, now in his late 70s, is legally barred from leaving Guatemala
City while he is investigated for his role in violent protests held to support
his candidacy during 2003 presidential elections.
Because of his past, he was originally banned from running for president. A
court reversed that decision and allowed him to run, but he was defeated in the
elections last year by President Oscar Berger.