Non-Fiction Books:

For Every Indio Who Falls

A History of Maya Activism in Guatemala, 1960-1990

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Paperback / softback

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For Every Indio Who Falls
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Description

In 1978, a Maya community queen stood on a stage to protest a massacre of indigenous campesinos at the hands of the Guatemalan state he spoke graphically to the dead and to the living alike: 'Brothers of Panzos, your blood is in our throats!' Given the context, her message might come as a surprise. A revolutionary insurgency in the late 1970s was being met by brutal state efforts to defeat it, efforts directed not only at the guerrilla armies but also at reform movements of all kinds. Yet the young woman was just one of many Mayas across the highlands voicing demands for change. Over the course of the 1970s, Mayas argued for economic, cultural, and political justice for the indigenous 'pueblo'. Many became radicalized by state violence against Maya communities that soon reached the level of genocide. Scholars have disagreed about Maya participation in Guatemala's civil war, and the development of oppositional activism by Mayas during the war is poorly understood. Betsy Konefal explores this history in detail, examining the roots and diversity of Maya organizing and its place in the unfolding conflict. She traces debates about ethnicity, class, and revolution, and examines how (some) Mayas became involved in opposition to a repressive state. She looks closely at the development of connections between cultural events like queen pageants and more radical demands for change, and follows the uneasy relationships that developed between Maya revolutionaries and their Ladino counterparts. Konefal makes it clear that activist Mayas were not bystanders in the transformations that preceded and accompanied Guatemala's civil war - activism by Mayas helped shape the war, and the war shaped Maya activism.

Author Biography

Betsy Konefal is assistant professor of history at the College of William & Mary. This is her first book.
Release date Australia
October 15th, 2010
Country of Publication
United States
Illustrations
18 halftones, 1 map
Imprint
University of New Mexico Press
Dimensions
152x203x18
ISBN-13
9780826348654
Product ID
4181435

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