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Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin
AmericaRace, Nation, and Community During the Liberal Period$
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Nicola Foote and Rene D. Harder Horst

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034874

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034874.001.0001

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Mayan Soldier-Citizens

Mayan Soldier-Citizens

Ethnic Pride in the Guatemalan Military, 1925–1945

Chapter:
(p.136) 6 Mayan Soldier-Citizens
Source:
Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin America
Author(s):

David Carey

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813034874.003.0007

The relationship between the Maya and the military had been an uneasy one since the 1870s when Liberal leaders began expanding the size of the army and the role of the militias. Since militias were intended to reinforce state authority and uphold Ladino interests, initially the Maya were excluded from them. Conversely, the military's mission was to defend the nation from foreign threats, and for that the Maya were suitable. As historian Lowell Gudmundson demonstrates for nineteenth- and early twentieth-century citizens of San Gerónimo, participation in the military or militia conferred citizenship upon soldiers in ways that the “Federation-era, republican formula of literate male propertied voter” had not.

Keywords:   Maya, ethnic pride, Guatemalan military, militias, citizenship, acculturation

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