Guatemala: Are We Headed Toward the Violent Darkness of the Past?

Ollantay Itzamná
Mam woman. Community meeting

In Guatemala and Peru, countries where the neoliberal system depredates every collective right as well as every defender of rights and journalists, in the name of democracy and development, the question resounds: Are we heading towards the dark dictatorial times of the last century?

Not necessarily. We are not returning to a situation from which we never emerged. What is happening is that the hegemonic educational cultural system made us believe the fallacies of the bosses as truths. In that sense, the bicentennial colonial creole obscurantism was more efficient than the obscurantism of the Spanish Colony.

Creole obscurantism, under the fallacy of democracy, development, nation state, etc., was installed in our deepest psychological structures, even configured our personality and identity, in such a way that we no longer look at the Creole colonizer as such but as our democrat, as our investor, as our ruler, as our State, our Army, our police, our Political Constitution….

In these colonial conditions, the physical and external presence of the colonial gendarmerie is no longer necessary. We are the gendarmes of ourselves. Self-surveillance, self-censorship, so as not to transgress the principles of the democratic order of the nation-state of the boss.

Quechua demonstrators in Cusco, in the face of the state massacre.

You will say: “all that is radicalism, it is for resentful people”. But, tell us, why does the nation-state massacre popular sectors mobilized in the streets, as in the case of Peru? Why do they punish in the streets and at the ballot box the peoples of Guatemala who are pushing for their liberation through the proposal of a process of a Popular and Plurinational Constituent Assembly?

We, the native peoples, are colonized beings

In fact, the native peoples and popular sectors of these and other bicentennial countries, we were never emancipated by San Martin, nor by Bolivar, nor by Morazan, nor by Sucre… Colonialism, dispossession and plundering in our territories continued until today.

We are not, we were never citizens in the bicentennial republics.

The creole nation-states “allow us to survive” as indigenous and popular sectors in the condition of subalterns or serfs.

But, when the colonized serfs organize, mobilize, communicate, exercise their socio-political rights to elect their own as rulers, then, the creole state institutions block them, or remove them with trickery. It is happening in Peru, in Guatemala, and elsewhere.

This is evidence that the indigenous people, coming from popular sectors, are not citizens at all. We are serfs colonized by the republics.

For this reason, when we raise our heads to “exercise our citizenship” the State/company/army represses, imprisons and murders us with impunity. For the nation state, we are not citizens, we are its internal enemies to be annihilated.

What is the course of action?

A native woman’s view from the perspective of Good Living. Assembly of peoples in socio-political resistance.

To understand that we are colonized by the State/company nation under the command of Euro-American imperialism. To understand that the condition of coloniality inhabits us even in our innermost being. And consequently, to initiate our process of emancipation and decolonization, both as individuals and as organized communities. These are some urgent and constant tasks.

To understand that we are not, never were, citizens of nation states. We are serfs, “internal enemies” of the State. Even if we carry academic degrees, or change our original surnames for those of the Creoles or Mestizos, we are not citizens. This is another issue that we must understand and act accordingly.

Our challenge is to design and build new plurinational states, with territorial autonomies, in the different countries of the continent to overcome the violent colonizing states of creoles. And this implies reaching consensus on new legal systems, new processes of constituent assemblies to reach consensus on new political constitutions.

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