Unveiling Central American History: Figures, Movements, and Borders - A Free Essay Exploration

Published: 2024-01-20
Unveiling Central American History: Figures, Movements, and Borders - A Free Essay Exploration
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States American history Historical & political figures
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1371 words
12 min read

Section 1

#1 Identification And Explanation (I) - Roque Dalton, Rigoberta MenchĂș, and Jacobo Arbenz.

Roque Dalton is a Salvadoran poet who lived from 1935 to 1975 (Esch, 2020). Dalton also did other works in essay writing, community activism, and journalism. During his lifetime, Dalton lived in Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, and the Czech Republic. The numerous countries that Dalton lived in exposed his life on the run after being exiled by these countries’ governments (Esch, 2020). Dalton serves as an important figure in Central American history since he was a renowned literary writer, and he also engineered the famous revolutionary movement in El Salvador.

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Rigoberta MenchĂș was born in 1959 in Guatemala, and she has lived for 61 years to date. MenchĂș is popularly known for her feminist work and an activist for the Guatemalan indigenous people. MenchĂș main aim was to fight for the rights of her people (Esch, 2020). The zeal to fight for human rights has made her a key figure in Central American history.

On the other hand, Jacobo Arbenz, a military officer and the 25th president of Guatemala, was born in 1913 and died in 1971. Arbenz stands out as a key historical figure in Central America since he served from 1944 to 1954 as a democratically elected president of the Guatemalan revolution. His socio-economic reforms ended the conservative landowners and military figures in the government.

#2 Identification And Explanation (Ii) – School Of The Americas And Liberation Theology.

The School of the Americas started in 1946 in the Panama Canal Zone to train the Latin American armed forces. The institution was later renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation and moved to Fort Benning, Georgia. This institution is famous for being an advocate of torture and execution, and it mainly played a part in the civilian massacre in Central America (Hatcher, 2018). Thus, in 1986 it later changed to the School of the Americas Watch, SOA, to denounce the previous institution’s inhumane activities.

On the other hand, Liberation Theology rose in the late 20th – century during the period of Roman Catholicism. The movement had a lot of influence around the Latin American region, and its main aim was to help the civilian population by getting involved in political and civic issues (Sigmund, 2019). Liberation theology stands as an important movement in Central American history by using the Christian faith and principles to fight corruption by addressing the root cause of the problem.

#3 Description of the Details of an Image

The image chosen for this section is the third picture. The image appears to expose the figure of a man dressed in religious clothing who seems like a priest. The man has his left hand clenched while the other hand seems to be holding a stone ready to be thrown. The image raises many controversies since it is ironic for a priest through stone to cause rebellion and violence. This image exposes the worse economic state of the citizens who lived in Central America since most of them were poor; hence some church leaders started a movement to stop the poverty source (Sigmund, 2019). It was a period of economic instability in Chile that posed the danger of civil war.

#4 Description of the Central American Countries – Guatemala

The period of the 1910s to 1940s saw a flourishing agricultural sector in the country. Thus, flourishing agriculture attracted foreign nations such as the United States who encourage large landownership (Markarian, 2018). Furthermore, the foreign nations encouraged the authoritarian government to use harsh labor laws against Guatemala’s citizens. The United States took part in an action that saw a democratically elected president being overthrown. Thus, the revolution arose to overthrow the military regime that had taken over (Markarian, 2018). There was a serious civil war starting in the 1960s involving the leftist guerillas and the military with the United States’ full support. More than two hundred thousand civilians lost their lives while others flew from their homes (Markarian, 2018). There was rampant torture and violation of human rights - the most affected being the indigenous people. The Guatemalan civil wars align with Ernesto Cardenal’s poem Zero Hours, which calls the people for a revolution that will lead to a consensus - since companies such as the United Fruit Company were forcing small farmers into poverty.

Section 2

#1 Identification And Explanation (I) – Subcomandante Marcos, Berta Cáceres and Evo Morales

Berta CĂĄceres was an environmental activist born in 1971 and assassinated in 2016 in Honduras. She marks an important Central American history by fighting against illegal logging, which undermined the Lenca community (Allen et al., 2019). On the other hand, Subcomandante Marcos is a former military officer and now a spokesman for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, which strongly opposes neoliberalism and capitalist nations (Allen et al., 2019). Marcos is now 63 years old. Evo Morales is a former president of Bolivia born in 1959. The main ruled for almost 14 years as a president from indigenous people. Morales took power with a promise of favoring the marginalized and discriminated against indigenous people.

#2 Identification And Explanation (II) – NAFTA & USMCA and Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism is a practice that reduces state control of the economy by eliminating regulations on prices, trade barriers, and capital markets (Watts, 2019). Neoliberalism started in the 1980s and led to increased violence that led to economic collapse and poverty for citizens of Latin American countries (Watts, 2019). On the other hand, NAFTA is a trade agreement between the U.S, Canada, and Mexico that came into force in 1994 and was replaced in 2020 by USMCA (Watts, 2019). The trade agreement increased productivity and market access, whereas it lowered consumer prices in the Mexican country.

The first image on the left is an image of the NAFTA agreement, which shows a lot of discontent between different countries. From the images above, Mexico is the biggest beneficiary, and it is not feeling any pain from the trade. Its position on the Agreement gives it an unfair advantage over the U.S. and Canada.

#3 Indigenous Women and Social Movements in Latin America.

Women took part in the labor movement and feminist actions in the Latin region. The main concern of women was equality for all genders (O’Connor, 2018). One of the women who led such a movement is Domitila ChĂșngara from Bolivia. Latin American women faced numerous challenges such as lack of education, reproductive health care, and non-business support, among others.

Section 3

In my opinion, the most peaceful borders between countries are found in Europe between countries like Germany and the Netherlands. The borders between these two countries formed after Germany annexed part of its land after World War II. The locals living along the borders of these countries usually experience low economic growth due to neglect from both governments (Broersma et al., 2020). However, the people living within these borders enjoy free movement from one country to the other since a road network separates some regions as the demarcation lines.


Allen, C., Álvarez, M., Cañuqueo, L., & Krop, L. (2019). Acosta, Abraham.“Contingencies of Silence: Subalternity, the EZLN, and the Account-ing of Speech in Latin America.” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies: TravesĂ­a. ():–. Taylor & Francis Online. Web. Sept. Adamson, Joni. American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism: e Middle Place. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Print. Revealing Rebellion in Abiayala: The Insurgent Poetics of Contemporary Indigenous Literature, 251.

Broersma, L., Edzes, A., & van Dijk, J. (2020). Commuting Between Border Regions in The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium: An Explanatory Model. Journal of Borderlands Studies, 1-23.

Esch, S. (2020). Uneven Battles: Central American Cold War Literature. In The Palgrave Handbook of Cold War Literature (pp. 451-470). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Hatcher, R. (2018). The Power of Memory and Violence in Central America. Springer.

Markarian, V. (2018). Civil War and Daily Life: Snapshots of the Early War in Guatemala. Not Even Past: Blog.

O’Connor, E. E. (2018). Indigenous Women and Social Movements: Multiple Injustices: Indigenous Women, Law, and Political Struggle in Latin America. The Americas, 75(3), 572-573.

Sigmund, P. E. (2019). Christian Democracy, Liberation Theology, the Catholic Right, and Democracy in Latin America. In Christianity and Democracy in Global Context (pp. 187-205). Routledge.

Watts, R. (2019). NAFTA in the Time of AMLO. Americas, 51(1), 9-12.

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Unveiling Central American History: Figures, Movements, and Borders - A Free Essay Exploration. (2024, Jan 20). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/unveiling-central-american-history-figures-movements-and-borders-a-free-essay-exploration

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