Click here to read a blurb about Guatemala's government filing charges against people who committed large-scale crimes against the Guatemalan people in the past.
I have mentioned Guatemala in previous posts, but never written much about it. I went to Guatemala while in seminary, way back before I was blogging. Saint Paul School of Theology offers the trip as an Immersion Class, among others. There I was confronted in a powerful way with true injustice, on a scale that I have never known before. And also, more personally than I had even known before.
Sitting and listening to widows tell stories about discovering their husbands' decapitated bodies in the ditch near their home, injustice becomes more than an abstract idea. Putting one's fingers into the bullet holes in the church girder where every man of the village was rounded up and executed by gunmen supported by the government gives human suffering a texture that is hard to truly describe. Discoverning how the United States government and corporations were supporting the Guatemalan government as it carried out these atrocities over the decades impacts a person like a ton of Chiquita bananas being dropped on one's head.
So I read a little news blurb about the Guatemalan government filing charges for these atrocities with more than the typical interest. Or rather, the typical lack thereof. I don't know whether anything will happen with the prosecution of these crimes. Part of me despairs at the immensity of the task. Part of me is skeptical of the authenticity of the prosecution. Part of me, though, is cheering on behalf of the people we met in the Land of Eternal Spring.
And part of me thinks that Bishop Gerardi would be so happy to see this day come.