Between Two Armies in the Ixil Towns of Guatemala / Edition 1

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Overview

This book challenges how the human rights movement thinks about a country notorious for rightwing terrorism. David Stoll's reinterpretation of the civil war in Guatemala focuses on the Ixil Mayas of the Western highlands. Based on their testimony, he attributes Ixil support for guerrillas in the early 1980s not to revolutionary impluses but to dual violence -- the coercive pressures of military confrontation which Ixils describe as "living between two fires." As a study of a peasant neutralism under crossfire, Between Two Armies questions whether confrontational forms of human rights organizing reflect the wishes of survivors trying to rebuild civil society, that is, political space to make their own decisions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231081832
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 1/13/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 383
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Preface
1 La Situacion 2
Living Between Two Armies 7
A Revisionist Account of the Violence 14
Revolution in the Counterrevolution? 21
2 Ixils and Ladinos 26
The Second Conquest of Ixil Country 28
Schoolteachers and Plantation Owners 42
The Catholic Action Revolt Against Gerontocracy 46
The Emergence of Evangelicals 53
The Revolutionary Party and the Christian Democrats 55
Reform Without Revolution? 57
3 The Violence Comes to Ixil Country 60
The Army of the Poor Comes to the Ixcan Jungle 65
The Cotzalenos Who Went to Greet the EGP 68
Assassinating the "Tiger of the Ixcan" 71
Fonseca's Betrayal 74
The Death Squads Come to Nebaj 75
Confronting the Army 79
Civilians as Surrogates 82
Solidarity Explanations for the Violence 84
Stripping the Blossoms from the Tree 88
4 The Civil Patrols, Rios Montt, and the Defeat of the EGP 92
Benedicto's Visit 96
The Civil Patrol in Cotzal 99
The Civil Patrol in Chajul 103
The Civil Patrol in Nebaj 106
The General Who Was Born Again 107
From Civil Patrol to Civil War 113
How Much Support Did the EGP Have? 117
Abandoning the EGP 121
Why the Army of the Poor Lost Support 126
5 From Montana to Model Village 130
The Pursuit of Neutralism 132
The Army of the Poor 135
The Guatemalan Army 139
The Civil Patrol 141
Life in the Zones of Refuge 146
The Continuing Army Offensive 151
The Special Commission for Aid to Refugees 153
The Resettlement Villages 156
Prolonged Popular War 161
6 The Holy Ghost in Northern Quiche 166
The Suppression of the Catholic Church 169
The Evangelical Refuge 174
The Chaos of Congregationalism 179
The Rebirth of the Catholic Church 188
A Religion of Survival 192
7 The Ixil Recovery of Nebaj 196
The Decline of Ladino Power 199
Labor Contractors 202
Promoters and Teachers 207
Promoters Take Over the Town Hall 212
Patronage and Protest Under Army Rule 216
8 Ecological Crisis in Ixil Country 222
The Impact of the Violence on Population 227
The Impact of the Violence on Land Tenure 233
The Effects of Finca Partition 241
The Deterioration of the Maize-based Subsistence Economy 244
Ixil Attitudes Toward Family Size 248
Escaping the Crisis 252
9 The Struggle to Rebuild Civil Society in Nebaj 258
The New Reformed Standard 263
From Costumbre to Gospel to Video 271
The Ixil-Ladino Detente 276
Power Structure and Popular Organization Under Army Rule 281
Civil Patrols and Civil Society 287
The Communities of Population in Resistance 289
Human Rights Comes to Nebaj 294
The Public Secret and Human Rights 298
10 Let the Dead Bury the Dead? 304
Notes 314
Bibliography 353
Index 369
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