Synopses & Reviews
As a member of Salvador Allendes Personal Guards (GAP), Luz Arce worked with leaders of the Socialist Party during the Popular Unity Government from 1971 to1973. In the months following the coup, Arce served as a militant with others from the Left who opposed the military junta led by Augusto Pinochet, which controlled the country from 1973 to1990. Along with thousands of others in Chile, Arce was detained and tortured by Chiles military intelligence service, the DINA, in their attempt to eliminate alternative voices and ideologies in the country. Arces testimonial offers the harrowing story of the abuse she suffered and witnessed as a survivor of detention camps, such as the infamous Villa Grimaldi.
But when faced with threats made to her family, including her young son, and with the possibility that she could be murdered as thousands of others had been, Arce began to collaborate with the Chilean military in their repression of national resistance groups and outlawed political parties. Her testimonial thus also offers a unique perspective from within the repressive structures as she tells of her work as a DINA agent whose identifications even lead to the capture of some of her former friends and compañeros.
During Chiles return to democracy in the early 1990s, Arce experienced two fundamental changes in her life that led to the writing of her story. The first was a deep spiritual renewal through her contacts with the Catholic Church whose Vicariate of Solidarity had fought for human rights in the country during the dictatorship. The second was her decision to participate within the legal system to identify and bring to justice those members of the military who were responsible for the crimes committed from 1973 to1990. Luz Arces book invites readers to rethink the definition of testimonial narrative in Latin America through the unique perspective of a survivor-witness-confessor.
“Arce’s testimony . . . draws from her direct proximity to and experiences of the machinery of violent death.”—Patrick Timmons, Latin American Research Review
“An utterly original story, well told and absorbing. Todd shows that Salvadoran peasant communities had developed a strategy of mobility and hiding even before the point of international displacement, adapted it to conditions of international refugee camps and transnational solidarity politics in Honduras, and used the camps as a base to push a repopulation movement in tandem with a peacemaking strategy. A new history of the war for El Salvador begins here.”—Steve J. Stern, series editor \''
“Draws from the best of historical and anthropological methods to document the ways in which courageous individuals and heroic families forged deeper ties of solidarity and built humane communities. Written with great passion and analytic precision, this book contributes to our understanding of an often overlooked facet of El Salvador’s civil war and fitful democratic resurgence.”—Greg Grandin, author of The Last Colonial Massacre\''
"Powerful reading. . . . A devastating book . . . [which] itself became part of an important controversy within Chile at the time of its appearance, about whether former leftists and secret police collaborators should be welcomed or rejected in society, and by whom."—Steve Stern, author of Perus Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest
"The Inferno is a searing and haunting memoir of one womans journey through the hell of Pinochets torture chambers and secret police."—Peter Winn, Tufts University
andldquo;A towering achievement, the result of more than three decades of research and reflection on the interrelated phenomena of violence, war, culture, politics, and human rights in Peru.andrdquo;andmdash;Carlos Aguirre, University of Oregon
andldquo;Without a doubt, Degregori is the key interpreter of the Shining Path movement. This book is his masterpiece.andrdquo;andmdash;Charles Walker, University of California, Davis
During the civil war that wracked El Salvador from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, the Salvadoran military tried to stamp out dissidence and insurgency through an aggressive campaign of crop-burning, kidnapping, rape, killing, torture, and gruesome bodily mutilations. Even as human rights violations drew world attention, repression and war displaced more than a quarter of El Salvador’s population, both inside the country and beyond its borders. Beyond Displacement examines how the peasant campesinos of war-torn northern El Salvador responded to violence by taking to the hills. Molly Todd demonstrates that their flight was not hasty and chaotic, but was a deliberate strategy that grew out of a longer history of collective organization, mobilization, and self-defense.
The revolutionary war launched by Shining Path, a Maoist insurgency, was the most violent upheaval in modern Peruandrsquo;s history, claiming some 70,000 lives in the 1980sandndash;1990s and drawing widespread international attention. Yet for many observers, Shining Pathandrsquo;s initial successes were a mystery. What explained its cult-like appeal, and what actually happened inside the Andean communities at war?
and#160;and#160; and#160;In How Difficult It Is to Be God, Carlos Ivandaacute;n Degregoriandmdash;the worldandrsquo;s leading expert on Shining Path and the intellectual architect for Peruandrsquo;s highly regarded Truth and Reconciliation Commissionandmdash;elucidates the movementandrsquo;s dynamics. An anthropologist who witnessed Shining Pathandrsquo;s recruitment of militants in the 1970s, Degregori grounds his findings in deep research and fieldwork. He explains not only the ideology and culture of revolution among the insurgents, but also their capacity to extend their influence to university youths, Indian communities, and competing social and political movements.
and#160;and#160; and#160;Making Degregoriandrsquo;s most important work available to English-language readers for the first time, this translation includes a new introduction by historian Steve J. Stern, who analyzes the authorandrsquo;s achievement, why it matters, and the debates it sparked. For anyone interested in Peru and Latin Americaandrsquo;s age of andldquo;dirty war,andrdquo; or in the comparative study of revolutions, Maoism, and human rights, this book will provide arresting new insights.
About the Author
Carlos Ivandaacute;n Degregori (1945andndash;2011) was a distinguished Peruvian anthropologist at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos and the Universidad Mayor de San Marcos as well as a major public intellectual. Steve J. Stern is the Alberto Flores Galindo and Hilldale Professor of History at the University of Wisconsinandndash;Madison.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A People Without History
Chapter 1. Remapping La Tierra Olvidada
I. Introduction. Lost Peoples, Forgotten Lands
II. The Map Reconfigured: The North as a Space of Opportunity
III. El Salvador\\\'s North and La Lucha
Formalization and Expansion
IV. Conclusion. Flames of Revolution
Chapter 2. Organizing Flight: The Guinda System
I. Introduction. Unspeakable Acts
II. Civil War, State-Sponsored Violence, and Gente Consciente
III. Mobile Communities and Self-Defense: Origins of the Guinda System
IV. Formalization of the Guinda System
V. Refuge Points and Alliances
VI. Conclusion. From Reaction to Resistance: Combative Mass Movement
Chapter 3. Internationalizing La Guinda
I. Introduction. A Thin Black Line?
II. Discovering Honduras
III. Integrating Honduras into the Guinda System
IV. Organizing Exile
Defining the Community
Managing the Basics
Managing the Moral Boundaries of Community
Chapter 4. The Politics of Exile
II. Allying with Los Internacionales
III. The Politcs of Refugee Aid
IV. Maneuvering the System
Staging for Success
Chapter 5. Citizen Refugees and La Lucha
I. Introduction. Documenting the Present
II. The Patria Stained Red
III. Salvadorans to the Soul
IV. Contributions from Exile
Chapter 6. (Re)Writing National History from Exile
I. Introduction. Declining Aid in the Name of te Nation
II. To Educate is to Transform
III.The Political Implications of Popular Education
IV. Documenting Tradition
Refugees as the Heirs of Farabundo Marti and the Martyrs of 1932
The 1969 (B)Order Wars
Tracing Patterns Beyond the Nation
Chapter 7. The Grassroots Repopulation Movement
I. Introduction. Going Home
II. Repopulation as Resistance
III. Preparing the Conditions
Phase One: Operation Underground
Phase Two: Going Public
IV. From Negotiation to Direct Action
V. Conclusion. Contested Sove
Conclusion. Body Politics