By Clark Taylor

ISBN-10: 1566396212

ISBN-13: 9781566396219

On February thirteen, 1982, the Guatemalan military stormed into the distant northern Guatemala village of Santa Maria Tzeja. The villagers had already fled in terror, yet over the following six days seventeen of them, commonly girls and youngsters, have been stuck and massacred, animals have been slaughtered, and the total village was once burned to the floor. Twelve years later, using phrases of refugee agreements reached in 1982, villagers from Santa Maria who had fled to Mexico lower back to their houses and lands to re-create their neighborhood with those that had stayed in Guatemala. "Return of Guatemala's Refugees" tells the tale of that procedure. during this relocating and provocative ebook, Clark Taylor describes the stories of the survivors - either those that stayed at the back of in stipulations of savage repression and those that fled to Mexico the place they realized to prepare and protect their rights. Their fight to rebuild is decided within the wider drama of efforts through grassroots teams to strain the govt, financial elites, and military to satisfy peace accords signed in December of 1996. targeting the village of Santa Maria Tzeja, Taylor defines the demanding situations that confronted returning refugees and their neighborhood. How did the opposing subcultures of worry (generated between those that stayed in Guatemala) and of schooling and human rights (experienced via those that took safe haven in Mexico) coexist? may the flood of overseas funds despatched to settle the refugees and satisfy the peace accords serve to advertise participatory improvement or new sorts of social regulate? How did survivors extend the gap for democracy firmly grounded in human rights? How did they get past the grief and trauma that remained from the phobia of the early eighties? eventually, the last word problem, how did they paintings inside of stipulations of maximum poverty to create a grassroots democracy in a militarized society? writer notice: Clark Taylor is affiliate Professor of Latin-American reviews within the collage of Public and group carrier, collage of Massachusetts at Boston. he's additionally chair of the board of the nationwide Coordinating place of work on Refugees, Returnees and Displaced of Guatemala (NCOORD), and was once a founding member of Witness for Peace's Guatemala Committee. along with his spouse, he has been co-leader of a partnership undertaking among his neighborhood church and the village of Santa Maria Tzeja for the prior ten years.

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The process began in April 1984 and lasted for more than a year. Harsh measures were taken to make the refugees relocate: they were threatened with being repatriated to Guatemala; they had their food supplies cut off; and, in one case, a camp was burned to the ground, leaving them no base from which to struggle (Manz 1988a, 153). Most of the people from Santa Maria were taken to Campeche. About ten of the families that held out the longest were transported to Quintana Roo. The Mexican authorities told the refugees that the move was for their own protection.

The title of that report, Guatemala: A Nation o/Prisoners, names the reality the refugees fled from as well as the reality that sharpened and embittered the culture of fear faced by those who stayed behind. Guatemala had become a prison, especially for the indigenous who made up the majority of the population. Those who fled and those who stayed experienced life in dramatically different ways during their years of separation. Only by understanding the depths of these differences is it possible to explore the challenges they faced in reweaving the altered patterns of their lives when they came together again.

Children learned their roles from teachers and parents. Adults learned to accommodate to the power of the military. In the cities some clandestine organizing went on that involved analysis and strategic planning, particularly as grassroots organizations began to reform in the mid-1980s. But in the countryside, given the control system, the learning was more limited to figuring out how to cope in the face of very limited choices. The reality was that survivors lived in fear-constant, relentless fear.

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Return Of Guatemala's Refugees: Reweaving the Torn by Clark Taylor


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