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Remembering Civil Patrols in Joyabaj, Guatemala

Simone Remijnse
Bulletin of Latin American Research
Vol. 20, No. 4, Special Issue: Armed Actors in Latin America in the 1990s (Oct., 2001), pp. 454-469
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3339024
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Remembering Civil Patrols in Joyabaj, Guatemala
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Abstract

During the civil war in Guatemala, which only ended with the signing of the comprehensive Peace Accords in December 1996, the military organised the male population throughout the Guatemalan highlands into civil defence patrols (Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil, PAC). Initially set up to help the military to win the war, they eventually evolved into a local power player in their own right. Although the patrols were dismantled in 1996, former patrols still influence daily life. This paper examines how, at the municipal level, current memories of the civil war, especially of the civil defence patrols, still shape perceptions, actions, and social relations. These are marked by fear, prejudice, and distrust, thereby creating important impediments for erasing the legacy of violence and building local democracy and civil society.

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