Unfinished Conquest: The Guatemalan Tragedy

Overview

Spanning the years of civil war in Guatemala, Unfinished Conquest portrays an embattled country facing the third cycle of a conquest that began when the conquistadors arrived in the sixteenth century. As personal narrative weaves with reportage and oral testimony, we meet the victims, champions, and villains of a society torn apart by violence and injustice.

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Overview

Spanning the years of civil war in Guatemala, Unfinished Conquest portrays an embattled country facing the third cycle of a conquest that began when the conquistadors arrived in the sixteenth century. As personal narrative weaves with reportage and oral testimony, we meet the victims, champions, and villains of a society torn apart by violence and injustice.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This engrossing combination of reportage, personal narrative, oral testimony and ethnographic investigation focuses on four Guatemalan towns which have been the object of an ethnic extermination campaign by the military. More than 65,000 Guatemalans of Mayan descent have died in this conflict since 1978. Perera ( The Last Lords of Palenque ), a native Guatemalan living in the U.S., examines the relationship between the campaign and the country's political leadership, the destruction of natural resources, and the Mayan-Christian religious practices of those under assault. Included is an analysis of the activities of radical Catholic priests and human-rights groups in a land of torture and killing, and observations on the growing Protestant evangelical movement which has already converted more than a third of the nominally Catholic indigenous population. Perera's layered narrative, set in a land of earthquakes, volcanoes and massacres, reads like a medieval morality tale. Photos. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Despite the slight flurry of interest inspired by the award of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize to Mayan Indian Rigobarta Menchu, the press is again ignoring the ongoing genocide of the Guatemalan people by state-sponsored terrorism. In an insightful historical analysis, Guatemalan writer Perera describes how the breathtakingly beautiful home of the Mayas has been torn apart by heinous abuses of human rights. The civil war, really a peasant agrarian movement against large interests aided by the United States and Israel in the guise of fighting communism, is destroying a culture so strong that it survived the brutality of the Spanish Conquest almost intact. Highly recommended for lay readers as well as scholars. --Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520203495
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 11/14/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 297
  • Sales rank: 1,114,550
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor Perera (1934-2003) was novelist and writer whose books include Rites: A Guatemalan Boyhood (1985) and The Last Lords of Palenque (California, 1986).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Introduction 1
1 Guatemala City 15
2 La Violencia 40
3 The New Conquerors 52
4 Nebaj 59
5 Cotzal 90
6 The War Goes On 104
7 The Crosses of Todos Santos 133
8 San Mateo Ixtatan 154
9 Father Stan Rother 167
10 The Missionaries' Return 191
11 Saving the Mayas' Rain Forest 217
12 The Battle Is Joined 244
13 Unfinished Conquest 269
14 Profiles and Portents 278
15 Profiles and Portents II 298
16 The New Indian versus the New Maya 313
17 The Evangelical Presidents 329
Epilogue 347
Bibliography 355
Index 371
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