Central America, Spring ^10

January 28, 2010

The Army, a talk

Filed under: Uncategorized — samanthabass @ 12:25 am

Last night went to screening of film, ´Como Agua, para Chocolate.´ (Like water for chocolate) Really weird movie from Mexico, funny.

After class today my group met with an army official. He gave us a presentation on the structure and purpose of Guatemala´s armed forces, and answered some questions about the army´s history and new image. There´s troops from Guatemala in Haiti now, and Guatemala and Uganda are the only countries to have troops in the Congo. He also explained how Guatemalans are reguired to serve for two years either in the army or through a civil service program, which can be building houses, teaching children, etc, and the state pays their expenses during this period. Although the United Nations recognizes the military of Guatemela, the United States still is withholding military funding because of human rights violacions during the Civil War. Now the main purposes of the army, which was reduced 60% to 15,000 soldiers, is to maintain the peace and respond to natural disasters.

The officer was real nice and eager to answer our questions. He acknowledged the controversies. We have copies of the ´Libro De La Defensa Nacional´(Book of National Defense) to skim through during our free time. There´s a lot of pictures.

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