By Inga E Calvin

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We need people in this country who can create [a] strong relationship with the United States. ” A Jakaltek American has spoken. 31 F our D o ña Mag da l e n a W e arrived in Santa Cruz del Quiché shortly before noon, drove slowly around the main square, then waited as instructed in front of the church. I spotted Tina before Lorenzo did. She made her way unhurriedly across the plaza, looking relaxed and composed. I found it remarkable to think that she had given birth to a baby girl only days before.

Montejo recalls: I consulted my watch and saw it was eleven in the morning. At almost the same instant I heard the first shot fired. Behind it came a volley of machine gun fire. The peaceful community broke into confusion. The women wept and prayed to God to protect their husbands and older sons who had been forced to join the civil [defense] patrol. I ordered the students to stretch out on the floor and barred the door and windows with old broomsticks. The invaders had encircled the village and the hills echoed the furious explosions of grenades and the sputter of bullets that whistled past the corrugated tin roof of the schoolhouse.

They were there right by 20 Nobel K ’ iche ’ her; they ate near her, and, if the animals will excuse me, I believe not even animals act like that, like those savages in the army. After that, my mother was eaten by animals; by dogs, by all the zopilotes [vultures]. ” In Crossing Borders, a sequel to I, Rigoberta Menchú published in 1998, Menchú informs us that her mother’s death occurred soon after she fled Guatemala for the safety of exile in Mexico. Of that last farewell, she writes: I will never get over the trauma of having left my mother so shortly before her death.

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