Posts Tagged ‘Army’

Dialogue?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

The President of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina in the Summit of the Americas said:

“Diálogo fue la palabra que salvó a Centro América de conflictos internos y guerras civiles hace dos décadas. Gracias al diálogo descubrimos que podíamos comer a una misma mesa, e incluso de un mismo plato, sin matarnos, sin agredirnos, sin hacernos daño entre hermanos. Yo fui un soldado entrenado para ganar batallas, pero la batalla más importante que he ganado en mi vida fue la batalla por la paz en mi país, Guatemala.”

“Dialogue saved Central America from internal conflicts and civil war two decades ago. Through dialogue we discovered  we could eat at the same table, and even from the same plate without killing or attacking us, withouth hurting each other. I was a soldier trained to win battles, but the most important battle I have won in my life was the battle for peace in my country, Guatemala.”

Yesterday  indigenous communities from Totonicapán blocked the road to protest the rising price of electricity and discuss their objections to education reforms in a peaceful way but military forces violently tried to removed them causing a chaos that left people killed and injured. I can’t help but wonder where is the dialogue there?   -Myrna Hernández

Photograph taken in Huehuetango by Sophia Piral.

Why are we the way we are

Monday, August 20th, 2012

I recently visited the interactive exhibition “Por qué estamos como estamos” which addresses ethnic relations, prejudice, racism and discrimination. It provides a historical overview about the social groups and how it has change our current social relations, the effects of armed conflict and the peace agreements leading to a great deal of human rights challenges.

A friend once told me: Honestly I don’t feel threatened when I see army soldiers in the City. I think it is a different story for each of us depending on our experiences. But one thing is sure: A  post-war armed conflict has left us a great deal of work. A need to rebuild our social fabrics, to start living as a community without barriers of a still systematic colonial thought. We need a country where education and culture Ministries get bigger budgets than Army Ministry.

 

The Myrna Mack Case

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Spark of light in the boundless darkness
Witness of hunger, extreme poverty, malnutrition
Voice of dignity against impunity and injustice
Teacher and conscious citizen
Struggle and hope

We aim to be consequent with the seed that she bequeathed us.

Is the text that can be read on the plaque in honor of Myrna Mack Chang born in Retalhuleu, Guatemala in 1949,  she was an anthropologist by the University of Manchester, England, with a masters at the University of Durham in the same country, stabbed 27 times on September 11, 1990 by a death squad of the Armed Forces of Guatemala created by the School of the Americas, an organization for military training in the United States Army.

She was dedicated to conduct the work in several rural communities uprooted by the Civil War and had contact with the reality that was unknown to many Guatemalans at that time.  Myrna Mack’s murder was the result of a covert military operation conducted by the Presidential and consented by several institutions.

The clarification of murder has been an effort from Helen Mack and lasted many years,  three officers were tried, but only one was convicted and is a fugitive from justice.