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Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village
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Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  115 ratings  ·  12 reviews
TESTIMONY: DEATH OF A GUATEMALAN VILLAGE is an eyewitness account by a Guatemalan primary school teacher detailing one instance of violent conflict between the indigenous Maya people and the army. An accidental clash between the village's "civil patrol" and a Guatemalan army troop leads to the execution or imprisonment of many villagers. Written in clear, direct prose, thi ...more
Paperback, 113 pages
Published July 1st 1995 by Curbstone Books (first published February 1st 1987)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In March 1982, Efrain Rios Montt's junta seized power in Guatemala. His death squads massacred approximately 70,000 Mayan peasants and political opponents during his 14 months in power. Three months after Montt named himself dictator, his forces entered the village of Tzalala, gunned down anyone they suspected of being an insurgent, and kidnapped the author, schoolmaster Victor Montejo. What he relates in the narrative that follows is a harrowing account of forced marches, torture, and terror. A ...more
Katherine Lara
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting read about the genocide in Guatemala.
R.K. Cowles
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
3 1/4 stars
Tim Hoiland
Jan 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I heard the news this week that Rios Montt would finally be heading to court, I picked up a book by Victor Montejo, who as a school teacher witnessed one of the massacres that took place in rural Guatemala in 1982, and though he was tortured, he managed to escape with his life. The book is called Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village, and while it is terrible to read, I believe it testifies to the reality of what life was like for indigenous Guatemalans at that time. I hesitate to recomm ...more
Jun 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, diary-memoir
This was probably one of the most descriptive books I've read about war and death. Victor Montejo goes into great detail about the death of the Guatemalan village he once lived in. The audience definitely feels like they're sitting on the edge of their seats while reading the book since Montejo himself escaped death many times in the book. The only thing that I didn't really like about the book was that it was kind of confusing as to who was fighting who and why. I would've liked for him to disc ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I gave it three stars because, although it is very well written, and it certainly moves you, it is a very hard book to read. Although it's short and straightforward, I couldn't read more than a few pages at the time.
This book is indeed a Testimony to the atrocities humans commit everyday for trivial reasons.
Sep 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: latin-america
Provides a glimpse into the fear that permeated Guatemalan society during the civil war and the brutality and sadism of the military. However, the writing seemed a bit too simplistic and straightforward.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-stuff
This is a small book that packs a really vivid punch. It details the horror of a village being destroyed in first person account by a survivor. It boggles the mind that humans can do this to each other.
Victoria Booth
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was a heart wrenching read. I had to stop several times.
Jan 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
short and packs a punch.
Jun 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Written in very matter-of-fact language. Definitely a piece of history that should be attested to.
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