Guatemala's genocide determination and the spatial politics of justice

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27 Scopus citations


This paper focuses on the Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification's (CEH) determination that state violence in Guatemala between 1981 and 1983 constituted acts of genocide. The construction of the CEH's argument is analysed, together with its implications for political dynamics within post-war Guatemala. The potential new 'geographies of justice' that flow from the CEH's genocide argument are explored in terms of new venues and avenues for prosecution of Guatemalan genocide cases. It is shown how the CEH made nuanced connections between territory, political practice, ethnic identity and violence, and it is argued that these connections were key to its genocide argument. Finally, the relationship is interrogated between the CEH's genocide determination and the figure of the 'neutral Maya' as the post-war representation of an indigenous subject inhabiting a space untainted by the stain of a (failed) revolutionary past.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalSpace and Polity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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