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Guatemala: An Open Internet – Anyone Can Blog

Once upon a time in Guatemala, there was a political chaos, Serrano Elías was the President, and he censored the press. It was the early nineties and few Guatemalans were lucky enough to have access to internet. It was an amazing tool to spread the news abroad. It was the way to let the world know what was happening inside the country. It was one done by the privileged, those with access to the internet. Then, telecommunications were privatized, and the services were improved and spread. Nowadays many people jump from silence to a cellphone, onto a computer, and they are starting to learn more about saying what they think on the web.

The Guatemalan Blogsphere has controversial blogs: some involving political views, and others related with complex issues, either by the message or the messenger. Here you can find some examples!

Ten years before, no word about the Guatemalan Army was heard – not in the news, not even in colloquial chats. That´s why it is really interesting to find a military blogger, in Perspectiva Militar [ES], you can learn more about the training and adventures of a kaibil, a member of a quite controversial unit of the soldiers. There you can learn more about a view not often shared by media.

U.S. nationals do not have a favourable public opinion in Guatemala, however, two North Americans on GRINGOLOGUE are sharing their experiences about volunteering in Guatemala, and is nice to discover the different perspectives of someone coming from abroad.

That you can contrast with Homo homini lupus [ES], a blogger doing an exchange program in Chile, and elcharakotel [ES], a blogger who migrated to Europe, both of whom offer different views of situations of Guatemalan bloggers who started blogging at home and now are blogging from different societies and experiences.

Elections will take place on September, and now it is the first time that blogs are used as tools not only for campaigners but for watchers, you can see it at Elecciones Guatemala [ES] . Small parties with poor funding found the way to spread their plans, such as Encuentro por Guatemala [ES]

Also, forgotten local organizations, even of the official party, have found their place in the blogsphere as the one used by GANACHINAUTLA [ES]

Guatemalans have discovered the virtues of spreading ideas on the internet. Blogs arrived! Guatemalan bloggers often write about topics before journalists, and they are starting to use their spaces to promote ideas, points of view, and open it to discussion. However, it is important to stress that tolerance of divergent opinions, even among bloggers, and it is still a problem. Blogs are tools, can be used in different ways but respect to differences and freedom of speech must be a common goal for bloggers.

5 comments

  • Hello Renata. I must say i’m a fan of your articles. First because they’re very good reading for themselves — direct, concise and balanced, and Good (in the Robert Pirsig’s meaning of the word).

    But there’s another motive: they’re pretty easy and pleasurable to translate to portuguese. So i think i can say that we, at GVL-Portuguese are all fans of your articles. Keep up the good work.

  • Gracias renata

  • Antonio

    You should recall to the readers that the censorship during Serrano Elìas was made by a woman who is candidate to deputy by the PP.

  • Renata, this is my first time writing in your website and I am wondering where are you from and where you get the information that will support your site.
    Guatemala is a country were Spanish is spoken and I’m trying to figure out to what nationalities are you reaching with your site.
    I am from Guatemala and I been reading from your column, the information that I been reading is outdated and I personally will like to see articles that will support all the corruption and injustice prevailing in this country at this present time.

  • […] and in the United States.  Although the growing nonprofit base in Guatemala uses the Internet to reflect the popular voice on national issues, such as indigenous rights and gender equality, it is common that in developing […]

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