The Guatemalan Spring (1944 and 2023)
Protests in Guatemala supporting President-elect Bernardo Arévalo suggest efforts by officials to derail his presidency awakened a new will to defend democracy. Revolution Day in Guatemala takes place on October … Watch video »
Protests in Guatemala supporting President-elect Bernardo Arévalo suggest efforts by officials to derail his presidency awakened a new will to defend democracy.
Revolution Day in Guatemala takes place on October 20 every year. It commemorates a landmark moment in the country’s history; on this day in 1944, a democratic rebellion overthrew over ten years of oppressive rule under military dictator Jorge Ubico. The architects of the revolution? Students, teachers, and workers. They stood up and decided enough was enough. These brave protestors fought for liberty, their right to free speech and religion, and liberation from crippling fear and want. Revolution Day changed the scope of Guatemalan politics and society, paving the way for positive reform and human rights activism.
In 1954, the US government, Guatemalan oligarchs and army overthrew the social democratic government of Guatemala, and a military-backed regime was re-installed.
Now, Guatemalans are in the streets across the country, fighting for a new Guatemalan Spring.
Moderated by Vilma Cáceres.
- Maya K’iche elder Tata Bartolo is a survivor of the repression by the United Fruit Company Sector Tiquisate, Escuintla, Iximulew (Guatemala in Kaqchiquel Maya).
- Luis Mejicano ‘Spin el Poeta’ is a spoken-word artist. Building up racialized youth who are gifted because their voices matter. instagram.com/educatorsonemic
- Pedro Montejo is a Guatemalan musician.
- Marco Fonseca is an instructor of Latin American and International studies at Glendon College, York University.
- Demetrio Cojtí Cuxil is Mayan-Kaqchikel from Guatemala. He is an activist for the rights of indigenous peoples, and has several publications on the subject.
Forum was organized by the Guatemalan-Canadian Collective.