Chapín black humor meets the Guatemala genocide trial

Today I found myself absorbed in the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala’s  coverage of the country’s historic first trial for genocide, which opened today. See NISGUA’s Twitter feed for an archive of live updates, and NISGUA’s blog for a summary of the first day’s proceedings.

This hopeful and emotionally charged moment felt even more intense as it comes during a wave of brutal repression against social movement activists across Guatemala, including most recently the kidnapping of four indigenous Xinca community leaders Sunday night following a community consultation regarding mining. Exaltación Marcos Ucelo was found murdered, with hands tied and signs of torture. Two of the other men escaped, while Xinca Parliament President Roberto Gonzalez was released the next day in Chimaltenango. NISGUA has updates and links to actions, as well as information on the broader context of criminalization that activists face.

In this climate, I was heartened to see Guatemalan commentators online reacting with great interest to the trial, as well as showing evidence of the indomitable Chapín tendency to confront horror with the blackest of comedy. The jokes mostly took the piss out of the Generals’ malicious and bumbling defense strategy, and dropped off as survivors of genocide began to give their devastating testimony of genocide lived in the flesh, picking up again at the end of the day. Here, without further comment, I want to collect some of the cutting and sidesplitting examples of this tendency that I saw today, as well as some more philosophically contemplative aphorisms:

About cascadiasolidaria

Human rights and solidarity activist from Cascadia, North America, writing about issues of justice and security in Guatemala and Central America from a perspective of solidarity with human rights and social movements.
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One Response to Chapín black humor meets the Guatemala genocide trial

  1. Thaks for the article. I think guatemalan’s balck humor is a way to see (survive) life despite the horror of the every day. Yours: Javier Martínez, @_Pacam

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