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Coffee, Crooks, and Congress: Campesino Politics and Guatemala’s Tumultuous Present

Date & Time:
September 23, 2016 | 12:00 pm
MacEwan Student Centre 280 - Council Chambers
Simon Granovsky-Larsen, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of Regina and LARC Fellow. 
Photo by Simon Granovsky-Larsen in Suchitepéquez, Guatemala.

As part of the LARC Speaker Series, Dr. Simon Granovsky-Larsen, University of Regina, will be speaking on post-conflict Guatemala. Since land ownership remains the central tenant of elite power in Guatemala, as well as the primary source of contention in the country, to explore agrarian politics is to shine a light on dynamics of power, violence, and hope. This presentation will discuss the role of the campesino movement in contemporary Guatemalan politics.

The presentation will focus especially on processes of hegemony and counter-hegemony as they have shaped the politics of post-conflict Guatemala. A bid to construct elite hegemonic rule through peace accord-based concessions faded when it did not manage to pacify grassroots resistance to extractive projects. In its wake, Guatemala has experienced a combination of coercive violence and a flourishing of counter-hegemonic grassroots alternatives. These interrelated processes explain much of the recent turmoil in Guatemalan politics, including an anti-corruption movement, genocide trials, the election to Congress of social movement leaders, and the assassination of land defenders. The central role of the Guatemalan campesino movement will be presented as a window onto such events.

The talk is based on nearly fifteen years of research and collaboration with organizations within the Guatemalan campesino and human rights movements, which has involved over 150 interviews across three research projects.

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public. Refreshments will be served.