History 8b Second Essay

History 8b Second Essay - Fear and Terror in Guatemala Mark...

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Fear and Terror in Guatemala Mark Hernandez History 8B Discussion 1J `
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Fear gripped the mind of every Guatemalan campesino as the revolution forced him to take a side in the struggle. Because they sought to extinguish all of the small rebel groups throughout Guatemala, the government assumed that many Mayan communities were in collaboration with the rebels and therefore destroyed many of the communities and its inhabitants. Through constant terrorism and repression of the population, the Guatemalan military and rebel militia were able to keep the people under control and forced the indigenous people to choose between joining the military or the militia. They were no longer able to continue living their lives as the humble farmers they sought to be, and because of this their personal identities were threatened as they no longer fit into the society established by the struggle between the military run government and the rebel militia. Perhaps one of the best accounts of the injustices that the Maya faced is that of Victor Montejo’s Voices from Exile . Montejo, an expatriate of Guatemala, is a professor at the University of California, Davis. Through Voices from Exile he hoped to recount the violence and oppression that he himself and thousands of other Mayan’s faced at the hands of the Guatemalan government. Because Montejo and his family lived in one of the communities directly affected by the military, his account and the accounts that he provides are some only ones available; because most of history is written by the victors and not the destroyed, Montejo’s account provides for a different view of the revolution. Before understanding how the personal identities of the Maya were impacted, one must understand the historical background that led to the military taking almost absolute control of the Guatemalan government. Backed by US support, the Guatemalan military moved to attain greater political power in the Guatemalan government, “eliminating all
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left-of-center parties rendering ineffective most of the center political parties, and moving into positions of power within the remaining right-wing parties.” 1 From 1970 to 1985, a succession of military dictators led the government in a series of corrupt elections and military coups. As its military power increased, so did its economic power. US funding
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This note was uploaded on 11/23/2011 for the course HISTORY 8B 8B taught by Professor Staff during the Winter '09 term at UCLA.

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History 8b Second Essay - Fear and Terror in Guatemala Mark...

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