Global Coloniality of Power in Guatemala : Racism, Genocide, Citizenship
In this engaged critique of the geopolitics of knowledge, Egla Martinez Salazar examines the genocide and other forms of state terror such as racialized feminicide and the attack on Maya childhood, which occurred in Guatemala of the 1980s and '90s with the full support of Western colonial powers. Drawing on a careful analysis of recently declassified state documents, thematic life histories, and compelling interviews with Maya and Mestizo women and men survivors, Martinez Salazar shows how people resisting oppression were converted into the politically abject. At the center of her book is an examination of how coloniality survives colonialism-a crucial point for understanding how contemporary hegemonic practices and ideologies such as equality, democracy, human rights, peace, and citizenship are deeply contested terrains, for they create nominal equality from practical social inequality. While many in the global North continue to enjoy the benefits of this domination, millions, if not billions, in both the South and North have been persecuted, controlled, and exterminated during their struggles for a more just world.
- Hardback | 296 pages
- 154.94 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
- 20 Jul 2012
- Lexington Books
- Lanham, MD, United States
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2:Genealogical Backgrounds of Power Chapter 3: Structural and Everyday Practices of Racism Chapter 4: Genocide as Tool to Eliminate the Racialized and Politically "Undesirable" Chapter 5: The Bureaucracy of Death and Vilified Memories Chapter 6: Citizenship as Repression and a Space of Inclusion-Exclusion Chapter 7: Some Concluding Thoughts
This is a very clearly written, richly detailed polemic by a sociologist of contemporary Guatemalan society. Martinez Salazar (Carleton Univ., Canada) argues that a nation such as Guatemala, while ostensibly freed from the former bonds of colonialism, is still permeated by the racism, economic injustice, and patriarchy typical of colonial oppression and terror. She reviews Guatemalan history from conquest to the present, and then, often referring to interviews she conducted with people from various walks of life, documents enduring injustices. Martinez Salazar pays special attention to racism, exhibited not only by postcolonial elites, but by progressives and revolutionaries as well. She also explores the heavy toll that state power and genocide exacted from Maya women. And she traces the important international connections between state power and the great powers that have so powerfully influenced Guatemala's oppression of its own citizens. The author's emotionally moving documentation of individual episodes of oppression, rape, torture, and murder lead inexorably toward the conclusion that decolonial resistance--the continual struggle for economic, social, and cultural liberation--is still alive and necessary in Guatemala. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. CHOICE Global Coloniality of Power in Guatemala is an original and intricately analytical reflection on power dynamics and systemic injustice in Guatemala in the context of historical and ongoing Western colonialism. Egla Martinez- Salazar masterfully unravels and explores both structural and quotidian violence and power imbalances in terms of class, race and gender, and, crucially, epistemic violence...Global Coloniality is a remarkable endeavour which successfully brings together an analysis of power of the Global North and local elites, everyday experience of this violence, and the multiple resistances of those 'ejected' from humanity and their struggles for social and epistemic justice. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples The novelty of Martinez Salazar's work derives not from her arguments per se, but from the application of her arguments to the specific case of Guatemala. ... Global Coloniality of Power in Guatemala is an indispensable examination of how the logic of coloniality persists in contemporary power relations today. Through the integration of theoretical and analytical insights with Indigenous epistemologies, life histories, and personal accounts, Martinez Salazar admirable succeeds in contributing to the epistemic decoloniality. Journal of Anthropological Research Anchored in a tragic personal experience, Egla Martinez Salazar weaves together a theoretical-methodological frame of the current socio-historical configuration of Guatemala state and the persistence of Indigenous ways of thinking, doing, and living in Guatemala (where the author was born and raised and experienced devastating effects of the logic of coloniality). She shows how the ethno-racial homogeneity of the European nation-state has deadly consequences when enacted by people of European descent outside of Europe, and are confronted with heterogeneous ethno-racial populations as well as knowledges and ways of being that they do not understand. Genocide has been, through the history of modernity, a recurrent technology of order and homogeneity. Professor Martinez Salazar clearly shows that while the idea of citizenship works well within ethnically homogeneous states, it becomes a problem that carries into gender dynamics when it is implemented in ethnically heterogeneous colonial/modern nation-states. One of the strongest aspects of the book shows how racism works in everyday life - in racializing proper names and clothes, entangling economic injustices, and exploiting labor and expropriation of land. The white supremacy that leads to European genocides outside and inside Europe (Namibia, the Holocaust), or the consequences of coloniality that engendered local genocides (Rwanda), was reproduced in the ex-colonies of South and Central America. Professor Martinez Salazar shows in great detail how the logic of coloniality works in the Guatemala state. Attentive to the colonial wound that she herself experienced, Martinez Salazar explains genocides and feminecides as logical consequences of coloniality, the hidden agenda of modernity. Guatemala is just one case of the agenda of modernity and its hidden darker side, coloniality. -- Walter D. Mignolo, author of The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options (2011) Speaking from an epistemic space of decolonial autoethnographic interrogations, Global Coloniality of Power in Guatemala: Racism, Genocide and Citizenship is a riveting tour de force that speaks truth to power the normalization of racial and sexual violence towards Indigenous communities, students, and working class folks in Guatemala during the US backed civil war, and beyond. And not only does it call out the violence of the US backed genocide in Guatemala, it speaks to the ongoing colonialities of power that subject Maya struggles for survival against a Ladino driven racial symbolic violence. It is riveting, brilliant, and a must read for those interested in indigenous struggles, human rights, subalternity and gender respect in the Americas. -- Arturo J. Aldama, Colorado University Boulder
About Egla Martínez Salazar
Egla Martinez Salazar, holds a Masters in Environmental Studies (M.E.S.) and a Ph.D. in Sociology from York University, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, and in the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women's and Gender Studies, both at Carleton University. Prior to working at Carleton, Egla worked in the Women's Studies Program at McMaster University. Dr. Martinez Salazar did her previous education both in Guatemala and Mexico. Her research focuses on the following areas: modern coloniality/decoloniality, intersectional feminisms and critical approaches to human and citizenship rights, environmental justice, and Indigenous Epistemologies Dr. Martinez Salazar is currently working on the research project about the Contemporary Coloniality of Nature, and the Criminalization of Socio-Environmental Justice Struggles of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Impoverished Communities in Latin America.