Monday, February 04, 2013
A Tenuous Proposition
As former Guatemala president Rios Montt goes on trial for genocide against the Maya, repression of indigenous rights in Guatemala continues. As reported at Americas Quarterly, murder of indigenous activists by the national army at Maya protests over discriminatory policy on access to utilities and education happened as recently as last October. As Mayans of Guatemala seek political recognition, economic opportunity and cultural protection, their dispossession and displacement by the state for industrial projects perpetuates the poverty established earlier by tyrants like Montt. As Mayan communities seek greater autonomy from this malign neglect, the new president of Guatemala -- Otto Perez Molina -- is busy reconstructing the military counterinsurgency infrastructure to use against them. The only hope is that the efforts by Guatemala's Attorney General to improve the justice system, combined with the determination of the Maya to avoid another civil war, will eventually lead to democracy. For now, it is still a tenuous proposition.