Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Art of Political Murder?

I've been doing some background reading to get a better sense of Guatemala and thought I would offer a few books if you want to learn more about Guatemala, too.

A cousin (Emily Freeburg) recommended:
I, Rigoberta MenchĂș, a collection of translated interviews with the Nobel Peace Prize winner and indigenous Guatemalan woman. It's very compelling and impacting. I have noticed a lot of parallels between the history of Guatemala and that of El Salvador. Both countries experienced horrific massacres of poor and/or indigenous people simply due to their fight for human dignity.

Another cousin (Alex Freeburg) recommended:
The Art of Political Murder by Francisco Goldman. While I haven't started it just yet, it looks like an interesting read. It's about the assassination of Bishop Juan Gerardi in Guatemala City in 1998 (it makes me think of the 1980 assassination of Monsenor Romero in El Salvador)

For the "cinematically" inclined, I recommend:
When the Mountains Tremble directed by Newton Thomas Sigel and Pamela Yates. This too, captures the life of Rigoberta MenchĂș. I've seen a portion of it in a Spanish class.

Lastly, I suggest reading a book given to me from a friend (Britt Williams):
The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novgratz. This colorful life story depicts primarily women-driven economic development enterprises in Africa. While the novel doesn't relate directly to Guatemala, I have found it very insightful into the challenges of working amidst language and cultural barriers. I think it will be very helpful to prepare myself for the unknown experiences I will have in Guatemala.


  1. I love cousin shout outs! and book lists! I keep hearing about the Blue Sweater, the title is annoying but its time to read it. She is in NY and getting a lot of attention. Keep up the blogging! I also like the Death of Ben Linder, amazing, about Nicaragua. Emily

  2. !buen viaje hermanito! !te extrano ya! - la hermana mayor (mejor)