The Irony of Celebrating Guatemalan Independence

One Texas woman says continued inequality, not independence, has defined the country’s recent history.

By Joy Diaz & Asa CottermanSeptember 29, 2017 10:44 am| ,

Guatemala is one of eight Latin American countries that celebrate their independence from Spain during the month of September.

Myrna, a woman from Guatemala who has been living in Texas for four years, says that Independence Day celebrations are ironic because the Guatemalan people have never been truly independent.

“196 years ago, we used to pay tribute to Spain. Now, we’re tributaries to the rich,” she says. “People have been oppressed and robbed here for far too long.”

She notes that despite Guatemala’s plethora of natural resources, the consolidation of resources into very few hands makes it a very unequal country, citing the exorbitantly high levels of poverty among both the indigenous and non-indigenous populations.
Written by Rachel Zein.