Information on "El Banco del Ejército" (Bank of the Army). [GTM6191]

The Bank of the Army was established in 1972 by the Military Social Welfare Institute (Instituo de Previsión Militar - IPM) with appropriated public funds, as a semi-autonomous state enterprise (Painter, James, Guatemala: False Hope, False Freedom, pps. 47, 50). Two other sources list it as a private bank (South America, Central America and the Caribbean 1988, p. 397; The Europa World Year Book 1989, p. 1212).
According to Guatemala: False Hope, False Freedom, in 1989 the IPM's biggest concern was, reputedly, the Bank of the Army. Today military officers appear among its major shareholders. The bank is reported to have lent money for the development of cattle-raising and other agro-exports, industry and real estate, and is "notorious for its flagrant corruption." By 1985 it had become the seventh largest bank in Guatemala (Painter, p. 50).
In addition, newspaper publisher Jorge Carpio Nicolle of the Union of the National Center (UCN), is said to have supported the daily newspaper "El Gr fico" through loans from the Army Bank (Simon, Jean-Marie, Guatemala: Eternal Spring - Eternal Tyranny, p. 200).
The above information could not be corroborated by the IRBDC.
Documents sent:
Painter, James. Guatemala: False Hope, False Freedom. (London: Catholic Institute for International Relations, 1989), pps. 46-50, 151.
Simon, Jean-Marie. Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny. (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1987, pp. 200-201.