Among the Volcanoes Historical Context

Omar S. Castaneda
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Political Instability

Since Guatemala's independence in 1839, it has been subjected to extreme political instability and terror. Guatemala's leaders have been dictators, military presidents, and elected officials, many of whom have been overthrown by coups. The hostility between the military and guerrilla forces has resulted in violence, bloodshed, and panic. In some cases, military regimes were so intent on ending guerrilla tactics that they massacred entire villages. The combined tasks of leading the country, controlling guerrilla activity, and addressing human rights seem overwhelming. This political climate provides the backdrop for Among the Volcanoes, where the villagers' daily lives are affected by the harsh realities of danger and violence. Just before the novel's 1991 publication, elections were held in Guatemala. The January 1991 inauguration of Jorge Serrano marked the first time one elected official was replaced by another. Serrano expressed his intention to bring peace to the land by negotiating with guerrillas...

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This section contains 599 words
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Among the Volcanoes from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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