Learning the historical context of a place and its people is a key factor in understanding the present political and social landscape. Guatemala’s history is rife with internal conflict, human rights abuses, and territorial disputes – events that bear testament to the resilience and strength of the Guatemalan people.
Here are some reputable sources from which you can learn more about this fascinating country:
This comprehensive timeline begins with the Spanish colonization of Guatemala in 1523 and provides detailed information on subsequent events all the way through 2012. The site also provides a Country Profile from a non-U.S. perspective. The overview states, “Guatemala’s beauty and strength of identity have not been accompanied by cohesion and prosperity. In 1996 it emerged from a 36-year-long civil war which pitted leftist, mostly Mayan insurgents against the army, which – backed by the US – waged a vicious campaign to eliminate the guerrillas.”
An excellent mini-documentary about the discovery of the Guatemalan police archives and subsequent human rights investigations.
Heirs of Vladimir Lenin: History of Guatemala from Film Archive
A brief, but comprehensive overview of the country’s history.
PBS has put together a very detailed narrative timeline of violence in Guatemala from 1944 – the present, compiled from multiple sources.