Download Return Of Guatemala's Refugees: Reweaving the Torn by Clark Taylor PDF

By Clark Taylor

On February thirteen, 1982, the Guatemalan military stormed into the distant northern Guatemala village of Santa Maria Tzeja. The villagers had already fled in terror, yet over the following six days seventeen of them, quite often girls and youngsters, have been stuck and massacred, animals have been slaughtered, and the full village used to be burned to the floor. Twelve years later, using phrases of refugee agreements reached in 1982, villagers from Santa Maria who had fled to Mexico back to their houses and lands to re-create their neighborhood with those that had stayed in Guatemala. "Return of Guatemala's Refugees" tells the tale of that strategy. during this relocating and provocative publication, Clark Taylor describes the reports of the survivors - either those that stayed at the back of in stipulations of savage repression and those that fled to Mexico the place they discovered to arrange and protect their rights. Their fight to rebuild is decided within the wider drama of efforts via grassroots teams to strain the govt, financial elites, and armed forces to satisfy peace accords signed in December of 1996. targeting the village of Santa Maria Tzeja, Taylor defines the demanding situations that confronted returning refugees and their neighborhood. How did the opposing subcultures of worry (generated between those that stayed in Guatemala) and of schooling and human rights (experienced via those that took safe haven in Mexico) coexist? could the flood of foreign cash despatched to settle the refugees and satisfy the peace accords serve to advertise participatory improvement or new sorts of social regulate? How did survivors extend the gap for democracy firmly grounded in human rights? How did they get past the grief and trauma that remained from the phobia of the early eighties? eventually, the last word problem, how did they paintings inside of stipulations of maximum poverty to create a grassroots democracy in a militarized society? writer be aware: Clark Taylor is affiliate Professor of Latin-American reviews within the university of Public and group carrier, collage of Massachusetts at Boston. he's additionally chair of the board of the nationwide Coordinating workplace on Refugees, Returnees and Displaced of Guatemala (NCOORD), and was once a founding member of Witness for Peace's Guatemala Committee. along with his spouse, he has been co-leader of a partnership undertaking among his neighborhood church and the village of Santa Maria Tzeja for the earlier ten years.

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Why the Army Turned on Its People As in all the villages that the army attacked, the people of Santa Maria Tzeji experienced stunned disbelief at the merciless violence directed against them. Santa Maria residents had heard enough about nearby destruction and killing to know they had to flee when they heard the army was on the path toward their village. But they had no answer to the question of why the army treated the villagers so cruelly. Falla describes how the people of the nearby village of Cuarto Pueblo refused to believe the army would destroy their town and didn't flee.

When I asked what they learned, she said: We had freedom of expression, and we learned about rights, rights in general, as well as women's rights. So there were many things we received .. . Back in Guatemala, we would never have been able to gain that learning. [Before the violence,] women couldn't participate, or perhaps we could participate but because our culture didn't support it, we ourselves devalued ourselves in our activities. By contrast, in Mexico we received help from the nongovernmental organizations, so we began to receive courses, many things (interview, November 1995).

When this is experienced by thousands of persons in a society," Lira argues, "daily life changes. " What we have then is a culture offear (Lira and Castillo 1991, 7-8). Copyrighted Material 34 Reweaving the Pieces One evening a man from Santa Marfa and I were sitting in the darkness on a bench at the side of his house. Speaking in a low voice, he described the difficulties faced by those who stayed in Guatemala: For me the experience was very different from that of our friends and relatives who came back from Mexico .

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