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Silenced Communities: Legacies of Militarization and Militarism in a Rural Guatemalan Town

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Silenced Communities

Legacies of Militarization and Militarism in a Rural Guatemalan Town

Marcia Esparza

294 pages, 17 illus., 2 figs., 2 maps, 4 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-687-4 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-688-1 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $34.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“At the intersection of historical and military sociology, postcolonial thought and genocide studies, the author sheds light on the consequences of decades of military presence in impoverished communities in the Chichicastenango region in Western Guatemala’s highlands. Her extensive experience of over 20 years conducting research in Guatemala contributes to the in-depth analysis of this volume…All in all, Esparza’s study provides valuable insight into the mechanisms of violence in the early eighties.” • Forum for Development Studies

“By combining postcolonial theory, military sociology and genocide studies, Marcia Esparza gives those largely silenced communities in Guatemala a sympathetic voice.” · Jürgen Zimmerer, University of Hamburg


Although the Guatemalan Civil War ended more than two decades ago, its bloody legacy continues to resonate even today. In Silenced Communities, author Marcia Esparza offers an ethnographic account of the failed demilitarization of the rural militia in the town of Santo Tomás Chichicastenango following the conflict. Combining insights from postcolonialism, subaltern studies, and theories of internal colonialism, Esparza explores the remarkable resilience of ideologies and practices engendered in the context of the Cold War, demonstrating how the lingering effects of grassroots militarization affect indigenous communities that continue to struggle with inequality and marginalization.

Marcia Esparza is an Associate Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. She has co-edited the books State Violence and Genocide in Latin America (2009), Legacies of State Violence and Transitional Justice in Latin America (2015), and Remembering the Rescuers of Victims of Human Rights Crimes in Latin America (2016).

Subject: Peace and Conflict StudiesHistory: 20th Century to Present
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean


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