Reckoning the after/math of war in Guatemala

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Working from multiple meanings of reckoning (to count, to settle rewards or penalties, to pay a bill, to measure possibilities for the future), this essay explores the post-war in Guatemala and the work of, and struggles over, number in making different people and experiences count. The peace treaty signed in 1996 instituted a truth commission and efforts to bring justice to the victims. The commission's quantifications of 250,000 dead, 93 percent at the hands of the state, mix in complex ways with the qualitative judgment that those deaths constitute genocide, leading to further quandaries in quantifying forms of repair. The state has begun paying reparations to survivors, but is also compensating civilians who were drafted into para-militaries that carried out massacres. How these para-victimizers count in relation to the aggregate of victims is, in turn, hard to calculate, and I look at some ways Guatemalans are working to make it all add up. Copyright © 2010 SAGE Publications.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nelson, DM

Published Date

  • March 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 87 - 95

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1741-2641

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1463-4996

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1463499610365374

Citation Source

  • Scopus