ERIC Number: ED232933
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Witnesses to Political Violence in Guatemala. Facts for Action #5.
Marchant, Fred; Wunder, Haleh
The sources of political violence against Guatemala's rural poor are traced in this document for high school global education classes. The paper summarizes "Witness to Political Violence in Guatemala: The Suppression of a Rural Development Movement" (Oxfam America's Impact Audit No. 2). The study was based on 115 respondents, both individuals and organizations, involved with research development or religious programs in Guatemala. They represent a broad range of political values, religious beliefs, and development ideologies. Respondents point out that after the 1976 earthquake, local organization efforts were aimed at reconstruction. When rural cooperatives began acting independently, a government-sponsored campaign of suppression and terror was initiated. The violence is characterized as a war between the 2.1 percent of the country's population who own 62 percent of the country's arable land, and the peasants forced to work that land at $1-3 a day. This violence has worsened the agrarian economy, blocked delivery of health and education services, and caused enormous upheaval in religious and familial institutions. The guerilla movement, then, offers the peasants a chance of survival and hope for change. The fact that to be active in rural society is to risk being kidnapped, tortured, and murdered should be of utmost importance to the future policy of the United States vis-a-vis Guatemala. Ideas for action and a brief listing of reading materials are included. (KC)
Descriptors: Developing Nations, Foreign Policy, Global Approach, High Schools, Political Issues, Quality of Life, Rural Population, Violence, World Problems
Oxfam America, 115 Broadway, Boston, MA 02116 (1-20 copies, $0.50 each; over 20, $0.25 each).
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Learner; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Oxfam America, Boston, MA.
Identifiers - Location: Guatemala