The source of the introduction’s first epigraph is Primer Congreso Pedagógico Centroameri-
cano, 198. That of the second is Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico (Ceh), Me-
moria del silencio, 6:76.
1. By the middle of the 1970s, the Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres (Guerrilla Army
of the Poor, egp) and the Organización Revolucionaria del Pueblo en Armas (Revo-
lutionary Organization of the Armed People, orpa) had replaced this traditional
Marxist conception of the centrality of an educated elite who led urban workers
with one that, at least in theory, placed the countryside and the Maya population
at the heart of revolutionary charge. For the most part, the Partido Guatemalteco
del Trabajo (Guatemalan Workers Party, pgT) and the Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes
(Rebel Armed Forces, far) retained their faith in the city and the citified.
2. The urban poor, the city’s majority, depend on remittances from relatives abroad,
the informal economy, the illegal economy of drugs and other goods, and a shrink-
ing formal sector. Neoliberalism has meant lower wages, higher prices, fewer jobs,
and dramatic cuts in state spending for social services. The portion of state funds
spent on education, housing, and health decreased from 9 percent in 1980 to 2.9
percent in 1991. For a description of city life since the 1980s, see Instituto para la
Superación de la Miseria Urbana de Centroamérica (ismu), Dinámica de las condi-
ciones de la vida urbana; Gellert and Palma C., Precaridad urbana, desarrollo comunitario y
mujeres en el área metropolitana de Guatemala; avanCso, El proceso de crecimiento metropoli-
tano de la Ciudad de Guatemala.
3. avanCso, Más allá de la sobrevivencia.
4. Author interview with Carlos López García, Guatemala City, 2000.
5. avanCso, Por mismos.
6. Reguillo Cruz, “La Mara.”
7. Wolfe, “Maras transnacionales.”
8. García Noval, Para entender la violencia, 11.
9. Mbembe, “Necropolitics.”
10. Mazariegos, La guerra de los nombres, 1–16.
11. Martín- Baró, Writings for a Liberation Psychology, 115.
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