Miscellany of fight and resistance
BY LISSETH SANTOS
TRANSLATED BY THOMAS LANG
The age-old fight and resistance of native peoples was renewed when a historic uprising led by the Board of Directors of the 48 Cantons of Totonicapán, the Indigenous Mayoralty of Sololá, the Indigenous Mayoralty of Nebaj, the Xinka Parliament, and the indigenous communities of Chich castenango began, giving rise to an indefinite national strike demanding the resignation of public servants like Attorney General Consuelo Porras, Attorneys Rafael Curruchiche and Cinthia Monterroso, and Judge Freddy Orellana.
They, in the execution of their public duty, have acted illegally against democracy, violating the electoral process. As such, their RESIGNATION is energetically called for. Unity in diversity is built upon the reality of the social fabric. Coordination between organizations of diverse social actors, like community leaders, peasants, weavers, children, adolescents, young adults, seniors, churches, students, professors from public and private universities who join and add their creativity to peaceful demonstrations exercise their right to gather and protest, protected by Article 33 and their right to free expression, protected by Article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Guatemala.
In a land where the bitter aftertaste of colonialism, discrimination, and racism is still present, emanating from and concentrated in the few families who hold power and have maintained their machinations over public institutions and hand-pick public servants who favor their individual interests and violate the greater public good. This all affects people who have historically been impoverished and trapped in misery; illiteracy; malnutrition; unemployment; irregular migration; insecurity; physical, psychological, sexual, and territorial violence; and a lack of basic services, among many other social problems.
The above is in addition to a deceitful partisan political system that is linked to drug trafficking and funding of oligarchic and monopolist families who are allowed to buy puppets to do what they say, even when those orders are against the law.
Laws exist only on paper, because they are not upheld unless they are applied with all force against the people with the goal of repressing their voices, causing terrorism, and arousing fear to weaken social movements that denounce, resist, and speak out against the current government. The only thing said government does is feed on the sweat of the people who work sunup to sundown to pay each day the taxes that fund the onerous salaries and bonuses that mediocre, corrupt, and inefficient public servants receive.
Power and dispossession “The oligarchy is defined by Marta Elena Casaus Arzú, a famous Guatemalan sociologist, historian, and professor, as the network of families who, in Guatemala, have power over the means of production and have maintained political power from 1531 to the present day. She clarifies, though, that on occasion they delegate part of said power to the Church, military, or politicians, but always took it back through control of local government in the colonial period, or through the Government in the contemporary age,” wrote Guillermo Díaz Castellanos in his text Oligarchy and economic elite: An analysis of social networks, published in 2018.
The present reality is the product of a history of siege by powerful families who have fortified their power and whose links have been strengthened through systemic corruption and unscrupulous tax evasion. Nobody takes the reins from them, because those who operate the administrative and judicial institutions are people who work as their pawns.
The miscellany of fight and resistance is condensed in the creativity of peaceful demonstration: singing, dancing, and shouting slogans with the hope of creating change that favors the people. Children and young people learn how to fight, resist, and never give up. Shouts of “FORWARD, NOT BACKWARD” are heard in public spaces even after 20 days of fighting.
“May all people rise up, so that nobody is left behind, so that we are not one nor two, but all.” – the Pop Vuh.
Lisseth Santos is a woman dedicated to social transformation for the sake of a better world for all. A social worker by profession, she graduated with a degree in social anthropology from Centro Universitario de Occidente.