The women wore white gúipils embroidered with pastel flowers and a thin brown trim. The men’s pants were of a matching design, cut off below the knee. The people of Santiago de Atitlán –more than 5,000 of them– marched the half mile out of town to the site of the former army garrison. “Here,” said one, “we are planting the peace.”
A year before, on December 2, 1990, Guatemalan soldiers opened fire on an unarmed crowd of about the same size. Thirteen villagers, including two children, eventually died; twenty-three others were wounded. But rather than retreat into fear, more villagers came forward. Within three days, the windows of the town hall were covered with hundreds of photographs, many cheap dime-store portraits, of men and women, young and old.
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