MEXICO CITY — After President Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown in a C.I.A.-backed coup in 1954, the Guatemalan government reversed his policies and branded him a Communist, all but erasing his brief presidency from history.
Nearly six decades later, a democratic Guatemala has promised to restore his legacy and treat him as a statesman.
In an agreement signed with Mr. Arbenz’s descendants last week, the government promised to revise the school curriculum and grant Mr. Arbenz the treatment afforded to historical heroes. It will name a main highway and a museum wing after the ousted president, prepare a biography of him, publish his widow’s memoir and mount an exhibition about him and his legacy in the National History Museum.
The post office will even issue a series of stamps in his honor.
“When you say his name, my generation and older generations automatically pick sides,” said Dr. Erick Arbenz, Mr. Arbenz’s grandson, an anesthesiologist in Boston. “The younger generation don’t know who he was or how he shaped history. Part of that is the culture of silence created by the C.I.A. and the perpetrators.”
After winning the presidency in a landslide election in 1950, Mr. Arbenz began an effort to modernize the economy, including a land-redistribution program that angered American corporations and the United States government. President Eisenhower, convinced that Mr. Arbenz was giving the Communists a foothold in the Americas, authorized a coup that ousted the Guatemalan president in nine days.
The deposed president died in 1971 at the age of 57, a broken man in Mexico, leaving his widow, children and, later, grandchildren to fight unsuccessfully in the Guatemalan courts for his reputation and their confiscated property.
In 1999, the family went to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington. It accepted the complaint in 2006, leading to five years of stop-and-start negotiations.
The agreement, signed last Thursday, includes monetary reparations, which were not disclosed. The Guatemalan government will also hold a public ceremony to admit the state’s past role in the coup and send a letter apologizing to the family.
The government has “acknowledged its responsibility for wrongdoing and its desire to make it right and restore this man to his place in Guatemalan history,” said Richard J. Wilson, a law professor at American University and the director of the law school’s human rights clinic, which argued the Arbenz family’s case.
President Álvaro Colom, Guatemala’s first left-leaning president since Mr. Arbenz held office, has given human rights organizations a freer hand in demanding an accounting of the crimes committed during the brutal 36-year civil war that began a few years after the coup.
“We’re working for the historical memory of our country,” Ruth del Valle, president of Guatemala’s presidential human rights commission, wrote in an e-mail. Ms. del Valle acted as her government’s negotiator. “It’s important to guarantee that events such as these are never repeated,” she said.
As part of the agreement, the family insisted on measures it believes can promote change in Guatemala, where, Dr. Arbenz said, the social chasm that lay behind the coup and its aftermath still persists. The government agreed to set up a degree program in human rights for public officials and indigenous leaders.
Dr. Arbenz said the agreement finally corrects the historical record, even if neither the president nor his wife, María Cristina Vilanova, who died at 93 in 2009, lived to see it.
“Justice does take time, even if it skips a generation,” Dr. Arbenz said. “My grandmother taught us to be tenacious, to be courageous, to be brave, and eventually there will be a solution.”
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