Making Silence, Making Ghosts: Torture and Disappearance in Guatemala

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Violence, Oppression, Foucauld, Genocide


Latin American History | Latin American Studies | Politics and Social Change


This essay is an analysis that confronts oppression at its outer limits of cruelty. My purpose in studying human rights abuses in the last forty years of Guatemala's history is to better understand the oppressor consciousness. In that sense, it is a one-sided perspective. I concentrate on the oppressor's actions and worldview in an attempt to understand what oppression is and how it works. A case as extreme as Guatemala brings this worldview into sharp contrast with the bounds of human decency, making it easier to detect than in its ubiquitous but subtler forms in all aspects of daily life.

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