Liberal emplacement

Violence, home, and the transforming space of popular protest in Central America

in Focaal

This article is about the changing meaning of home among people engaged in the Guatemalan guerrilla movement. It shows that during the war, the revolutionary committed struggled for home more in terms of communal spheres of insurgent societal transformation than in terms of the defense or reconstruction of family or house. Though the counterinsurgency state was bent on their annihilation, it was only with the implementation of liberal peace that their commitment was ultimately destroyed. Most of them then opted for 'return' to their pre-war settlements and they gave up the political project of preserving their progressive civil organization. 'Home' under liberal peace in post-revolutionary Central America is continuously held together mainly by the migration of youth in search of opportunities elsewhere as hope for improved living conditions has become a question no longer of transforming but of leaving society in order to save oneself and/or one's household. The notion of liberal emplacement is brought forward in this article to conceptualize the destruction of political movement through the creation of an individualized necessity of spatial movement.

Focaal

Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology