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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

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“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 Studies History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean



Introduction: "My Soul is a Military Soul"

Chapter 1. The Methodological Crisis Revisited
Chapter 2. A Postcolonial Reenactment:The Cold War Civil Self-Defense Patrol System  
Chapter 3. A Chameleonlike Army: Civic Action, a Postcolonial Strategy
Chapter 4. The Beheading of a Popular Maya Uprising in a “Red Community”
Chapter 5. Early Disbanding, Postwar Resistance and Na'tab'al (Memory)
Chapter 6. “Inverted Discourse:” Collaboration in “White Communities”
Chapter 7. Nationalistic Mythology Revival: Failure to Dismantle the Internal Enemy Myth
Chapter 8. A “Silence That Hurts:” Garrison  Communities
Chapter 9. Militaristic Legacies: Lynching and La Cadena
Chapter 10. A Foreseen Aftermath: Decree 3-2014



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