Guatemala and the Progressive Wave in Abya Yala

Ollantay Itzamná
The political results of “progressivism” were not the fruit of the articulation of traditional political parties, nor the product of electoral campaigns alone.

In some countries such as Guatemala, some actors of the traditional left are beginning to assume the electoral political “imperative”: Now is the time! It is our turn! enthusiastic about the string of electoral triumphs of progressive tendencies in the continent.

This emotional understanding does not always take into account all the basic premises of the political equations that resulted in the triumph at the ballot box in the different countries.

The results were not the fruit of the articulation of political parties, nor were they the product of electoral campaigns alone.

Long processes of organization, mobilization and training.

The last electoral results in Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, to mention some countries where “progressivism” triumphed at the polls, were not only the result of electoral political processes (electoral campaigns of weeks), but the product of a long and persistent work of organization, awareness, training, mobilization and political articulation in the countryside and in the cities. The electoral was the result of this effort of the construction of the socio-political force/subject.

Therefore, it is illusory to think that “making electoral alliances” under the haste of the next general elections we will “reap” optimal results. Nobody reaps what he does not sow, according to the adage. And we peasants say: he who reaps what he does not sow, steals.

It took Chile, Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, more than a decade of organizational work, training, articulation in the streets, in the assemblies, in the countryside and in the cities.

It was not the product of the electoral alliance of political parties alone. In no case did the progressive forces triumph only and solely with the alliance or articulation between political parties. Moreover, in cases such as Chile, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, the political parties of the left approached and coordinated with social movements (peasants, women, youth, indigenous, workers, etc.) before the other parties of the left.

In the case of Honduras, the triumph of the Libertad y Refundación LIBRE party cannot be understood without the legacy and social strength of the National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP). Nor can the triumph of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS IPSP) be understood without the social movements that sustain it. Or the case of Pedro Castillo, in Peru, without the strength of the peasant and teachers’ patrols of the country.

They do not seek to win elections as an ultimate goal.

The objective of these progressive forces that triumphed at the polls was not to “win elections”. The objective was and is to bring about profound changes in these countries. The bet is to creatively confront privatizing neoliberalism, eco-fascist imperialism, external and internal racist neocolonialism, patriarchy and ecocide.

From there comes the bet for processes of plurinational constituent assemblies as the only way in some of these cases, or the proposal for the construction of plurinational states.

The mandate for articulation arises in the communities, peoples and sectors. In all cases, the need for socio-political articulation, apart from being constant, was and is a mandate of the communities, peoples, collectives, movements… annoyed by the impacts of the pandemic neoliberal system.

In this sense, this commitment to articulation came from the bottom up, from the periphery to the center, from the countryside to the cities. It was not an initiative or whim of the aging “revolutionary vanguard” in the capital cities of the racist, developmentalist and chauvinist republics.

It is important to take into account these socio-political premises in order to understand the progressive political equation and its results in the region.

Is there a Liberating Socio-Political Organizing Process in Guatemala?

In Guatemala we need socio-political alliances to advance towards the construction of a plurinational state to rebuild the good life for all peoples. Of course we do. And we have been in this process for some years now.

From the communities and peoples organized in resistance to the neoliberal inclemency our objective is clear: We do not seek to “recover” this genocidal and corrupt creole State.

We seek to build a plurinational State where we all fit, including our Mother. Only in this way will we advance towards Good Living. And our political methodology is the process of the Popular and Plurinational Constituent Assembly.

Any other effort of political organization of “progressive” forces is only a diversion, or has the purpose of impeding the plurinational project in Guatemala. We do not seek to win general elections to install and celebrate a “new” political elite to administer the rotten State of Guatemala. We are building a socio-political force, with its own political instrument (which does not function as a party, nor does it obey its general secretary), to recover all the privatized common goods, to accelerate the plurinational constituent process to create a plurinational State.