Guatemala & Citizen Media

“We are not myths of the past, ruins in the jungle, or zoos. We are people and we want to be respected, not to be victims of intolerance and racism.”

—   Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemala Indigenous Rights Activist)
(An indigenous woman passes graffiti depicting former dictator Efrain Rios Montt in Guatemala City (Daniel Leclair/Courtesy Reuters).

Watch "When the Mountains Tremble" hosted by PBS's POV

Watch "Granito" hosted by PBS's POV

"Rios Montt on Trial" by PRI's The World

Efrain Rios Montt

I believe to have a full understanding of this research, I need to explain the current situation with the former military dictator, Efrain Rios Montt.

Currently, there is a trial in regards to the crimes committed by the dictator Rios Montt through his military. In 1982, Rios Montt obtained power through a military coup, which led to thousands of indigenous people being murdered.

This civil war lasted for 17 years and finally ended in 1996; however, Rios Montt received immunity from any charges by being elected to congress. Recently, he resigned from Congress which prosecutors acted quickly to place charges of war crimes.

Currently, the trial is still taking place and will most likely take a year before a decision is made.

But I recommend staying up to date on the progress and to also look into a couple films that illustrate how terrible his reign was.

"When the Mountains Tremble" and "Granito: How to Nail a Dictator" are both directed by Pamela Yates and provide a great way to break into understanding what Guatemala has gone through over the past decades.

Summer Research

This is dedicated to my independent research on Guatemala and the involvement of citizen media in this third world country.

This research will cover the progress of Guatemala from the 70s to its current status, which involves covering several milestones for the country. 

After developing a full understanding of Guatemala’s history, I plan on moving the focus to citizen media involved with the country. There is limited research done on citizen media in Guatemala and I hope to develop a potential research study.