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Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit

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Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit

Guatemala Under General Efrain Rios Montt, 1982-1983

Format

Hardback

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Terror in the Land of the Holy Spirit by Virginia Garrard-Burnett
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Description

Between 1982 and 1983, in the name of anti-communism the military government of Guatemala prosecuted a scorched-earth campaign of terror against largely Mayan rural communities. Under the leadership of General Efrain Rios Montt, tens of thousands of people perished in what is now known as la violencia, or 'the Mayan holocaust.' Rios Montt, Guatemala's president-by-coup was, and is, an outspokenly born-again Pentecostal Christian - a fact that would seem to be at odds with the atrocities that took place on his watch. Virginia Garrard-Burnett's book is the first in English to view the Rios Montt era through the lens of history. Drawing on newly-available primary sources such as guerrilla documents, evangelical pamphlets, speech transcripts, and declassified US government records, she is able to provide a fine-grained picture of what happened during Rios Montt's rule. Looking back over Guatemalan history between 1954 and the late 1970s, she finds that three decades of war engendered an ideology of violence that cut across class, cultures, communities, religions, and even families. Many Guatemalans converted to Pentecostalism during this period, she says, because of the affinity between these churches' apocalyptic message and the violence of their everyday reality. Examining the role of outside players and observers: The US government, evangelical groups, and the media, she contends that self-interest, willful ignorance, and distraction permitted the human rights tragedies within Guatemala to take place without challenge from the outside world.

Author Biography

Garrard Burnett is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas, Austin
Release date Australia
February 18th, 2010
Country of Publication
United States
Illustrations
4 black and white halftone illustrations
Imprint
Oxford University Press Inc
Pages
288
Dimensions
161x242x21
ISBN-13
9780195379648
Product ID
4036218

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