2011-06. March for Remembrance 2011: Genocide, the People will Judge You
July 4th, 2011
June 30th, 2011.In Guatemala, June 30th is officially observed as Armed Forces Day. But since 2008, the military parade has ceased to march through the streets of the historical center in Guatemala City. Instead, the March for Remembrance has taken over Zone 1 for the fourth consecutive year to celebrate what many believe should more appropriately be deemed Heroes and Martyrs Day.“The March for Remembrance: Genocide, the People will Judge You,” reads Raúl Nájera, founding member of H.I.J.O.S., “is a call to organize ourselves, to rebel against dispossession and oppression, to take our memory into the streets, and from there, from that public space that has always been denied to us, to carry a battle fueled by the people’s history against the economic and military powers that be.”
To read the entire communiqué by H.I.J.O.S. (in Spanish) click here.Street vendors prepare products to sell during the march. On this occasion, members from the informal economic sector of society who struggle to survive sell handkerchiefs and hats with mottoes suiting the occasion: “We demand Justice!” or “No more impunity”.Blanca Rosa Quiroa de Hernández, mother of Oscar David Hernández who was detained-disappeared in 1984. Doña Blanca is a founding member of the Mutual Support Group (GAM) and the Association for Detained-Disappeared Family Members of Guatemala (FAMDEGUA). To read more about her case please see the photo essay: Letter to a Forcibly Disappeared Son.A participant carries a poster of murdered Bishop Gerardi. For more information, please see the photo essay: Monsignor Gerardi: 10 Years of Martyrdom.“We neither forget nor forgive. If alive they took them, alive we want them back!”
“When you vote, do not forget me… No person guilty of genocide in public office. Period!” Slogan from a campaign protesting former General Otto Perez Molina’s current candidacy for president in the upcoming September elections.
Pamphlets distributed during the march alluding to Perez Molina’s presidential campaign: “If the options are chafas… do not vote.” [In Guatemala, the word chafa is a contemptuous term for military personnel. In Mexico, chafa is used for objects of very low quality. The latter definition is also widely understood in Guatemala.]
Family members of Luz Haydee Méndez, detained-disappeared in 1984. For more information on her case, please read the following photo essays:
Offensive for Remembrance: Where are the Disappeared?
HIJOS: Public Poster Campaigns
Image of Victor Leiva, alias El Mono (The Monkey), hangs outside the headquarters of Caja Ludica, street art collective where he participated. Victor was murdered by unknown assailants on February 3rd, 2011, just a few blocks away. Please follow this link on Facebook for more on his case.
For more information on the March for Remembrance in previous years and the struggle to eradicate the military parade, please view the following photo essays:
Video documenting the march produced by Asociación Comunicarte.
Versión en español aquí.