Fear as a Way of Life: Mayan Widows in Rural Guatemala

Synopsis

Between the late 1970s and the mid-1980s, the people of Guatemala were subjected to a state-sponsored campaign of political violence and repression designed to not only defeat a left-wing, revolutionary insurgency but also destroy Mayan communities and culture. The Mayan Indians in the western highlands were labeled by the government as revolutionary sympathizers, and many Mayan women lost husbands, sons, and other family members who were brutally murdered or who simply "disappeared." Based on years of field research conducted in the rural highlands, Fear as a Way of Life traces the intricate links between the recent political violence and repression and the long-term systemic violence connected with class inequalities and gender and ethnic oppression----the violence of everyday life.