Though a 1996 peace accord brought a formal end to a conflict that had lasted for thirty-six years, Guatemala's violent past continues to scar its troubled present and seems destined to haunt its uncertain future. George Lovell brings to this revised and expanded edition of A Beauty That Hurts decades of fieldwork throughout Guatemala, as well as archival research. He locates the roots of conflict in geographies of inequality that arose during colonial times and were exacerbated by the drive to develop Guatemala's resources in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The lines of confrontation were entrenched after a decade of socioeconomic reform between 1944 and 1954 saw modernizing initiatives undone by a military coup backed by U.S. interests and the CIA. A United Nations Truth Commission has established that civil war in Guatemala claimed the lives of more that 200,000 people, the vast majority of them indigenous Mayas. Lovell weaves documentation about what happened to Mayas in particular during the war years with accounts of their difficult personal situations.
Meanwhile, an intransigent elite and a powerful military continue to benefit from the inequalities that triggered armed insurrection in the first place. Weak and corrupt civilian governments fail to impose the rule of law, thus ensuring that Guatemala remains an embattled country where postwar violence and drug-related crime undermine any semblance of orderly, peaceful life.
W. GEORGE LOVELL is Professor of Geography at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He also teaches at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain, as Visiting Professor in Latin American History. To date, his ten book titles have appeared in seventeen different editions in Spanish as well as in English. Among his honors is the Carl O. Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award from the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers.
Preface Part One: Struggle and Survival 1. Q'anjob'al Canadian 2. Nobel K'iche' 3. Jakaltek American 4. Dona Magdalena 5. Through a Lens, Darkly 6. Devils and Angels Part Two: Blood and Ink 7. The Delivery Man 8. Into the Fire 9. Peace of the Dead 10. Futility at the Polls 11. Civilian Rule 12. A Militarized Society 13. The Daily News 14. The Fiction of Democracy 15. Searching for Peace 16. Scarred by War 17. How Was Guatemala? Part Three: Spaniards, Ladinos, and the Enduring Maya 18. The Colonial Experience 19. The Century after Independence 20. Arbenz and the Fruit Company 21. The T-Shirt Parade 22. Natives in the Backcountry Epilogue A Guatemalan Gallery Sources and Commentary