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Reimagining Guatemala: Reconciliation and the Indigenous Accords.

Handy, Jim
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) In Carol A.L. Prager and Trudy Govier, Dilemmas of Reconciliation: Cases and Concepts. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Pp. 279-306.

In this discussion, I explore both why this alteration [in Guatemala conceptions of society] is necessary and suggest why it is so difficult. To do the former, I explore briefly the history of marginalization of the Maya in Guatemala and how the marginalization was central to the non-Maya conception of the Guatemalan nation. I will then turn to a discussion of the ways in which the marginalization was challenged in the latter half of the twentieth century and how that challenge helped precipitate the worst period of violence. This will be followed by a discussion of the ways in which Mayan revitalization after 1985 helped lead to the ending of the civil war and the signing of the Peace Accords in 1996. I will examine the conflicts that have emerged in Guatemala concerning indigenous rights. Finally, I will explore briefly the disappointing history of what has been done since the signing of the accords, focusing on the recent failed attempt to constitutional change. (excerpt)


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