Guatemala

“Social movements are flourishing in today’s Guatemala, drawing on rich traditions of indigenous and popular struggle for collective survival, self-determination, and emancipation. In the face of this power from below, the country’s economic and political oligarchy has repeatedly used violence to repress challenges to its dominance and shape the state and economy to its benefit…Social movement analysts characterize the current model as ‘neoliberal militarism,’ combining formal democracy with authoritarian political processes, militarization, and unchecked exploitation by national and transnational capital.”

—Phil Neff, “Deep-rooted movements defy violence
to fight for a better way of life,” introduction to the
Guatemala chapter of Until the Rulers Obey

Women from Santa Cruz de Barillas, Huehuetenango, protesting the state of siege imposed by the Guatemalan president and Congress in May 2012. Photo from Consejo de Pueblos del Occidente.
Women from Santa Cruz de Barillas, Huehuetenango, protesting the state of siege imposed by the Guatemalan president and Congress in May 2012. Photo from Consejo de Pueblos del Occidente.

Until the Rulers Obey includes four interviews from Guatemala:

Paula Barrios, Women Transforming the World (MTM)
“To know that one is not alone”
Interview by Coordination of International Accompaniment in Guatemala (ACOGUATE), November 2012; translation by Christy Rodgers

Roberto Mendez, H.I.J.O.S. and CPR Urbana
“The same communities that suffered genocide are victims in this new era of dispossession”
Interview and translation by Courtney Martinez/NISGUA, November 2012

Edwin E.A. Guevara, Petén Distributors Employees’ Union (SITRAPETEN)
“They wouldn’t address our concerns, so we had to organize.”
Interview by ACOGUATE, July 2008; translation by Chuck Morse

Javier de León, Maya Mam community leader, coordinator of the Association for the Integral Development of San Miguel Ixtahuacán; and Fernando Solís, editor of the alternative political economy journal El Observador
Interview by ACOGUATE, November 2009; translation by Christy Rodgers