Por Que las Armas?: Desde los Mayas Hasta la Insurgencia en Guatemala

Maria del Rosario Valenzuela Sotomayor, Author
Maria del Rosario Valenzuela Sotomayor, Author Ocean Press (WA) $21.95 (363p) ISBN 978-1-921235-99-3
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An important issue in the history of Guatemala is the level of violence used against the indigenous population. This book is an attempt to provide an explanation through historical analysis of the interaction between the indigenous population and the dominate Ladino population. In her previous research, Bolivian-born Valenzuela-Sotomayor, who received her Masters in Economics from the Universidad Aut\xF3noma de M\xE9xico (UNAM), focused on the study of women in Guatemala and racism against indigenous populations. This volume begins with a sensitive and insightful look at pre-Columbian Mayan culture. The author then thematically shows a pattern of violence, suppression, and racism that has been used since the conquest to subjugate the indigenous population in Guatemala to create an underdeveloped and dependent work force. She suggests that the arrival of a harsh dictatorship in the mid 20th century eliminated the possibility of a peaceful solution to the long-term historical challenges of equality in the country. She ends by proposing that the only possible reaction to this history of violence was the revolutionary violence of the 30-year civil war in Guatemala. The book is well written but in many ways is a summary of traditional arguments of the Left; recommended for large academic collections on Latin America.-Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT
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