Guatemala: June 30th, A Day to Remember

Photo taken by James Rodríguez and use by permission.

Every year on June 30, Guatemalans celebrate a festive day, when the Guatemalan Army goes on a parade in the city's center. This year was exceptional because bloggers were the real reporters of the event, and experienced something unusual that happened.

Why is there a celebration on June 30? in Guatemala Blog [ES] you can find the answer:

El presidente Julio César Méndez Montenegro, en el año de 1965, en conmemoración de la efemérides de Barrios, siendo su fundador, establece el 30 de junio como el Día del Ejército.

In 1965, President Julio Cesar Méndez Montenegro commemorated the achievements of former President Justo Rufino Barrios, who founded the Guatemalan Army, by establishing June 30 as Day of the Army.

Opinions are as diverse as bloggers. One day before the parade, blogger Prensa Negra Guatemala [ES] in an extensive critique of the armed forces on his post “En la víspera” delcared:

Yo no me quedare de brazos cruzados ire de parte del pueblo, con el pueblo y por el pueblo por medio de una marcha de protesta que habra ese dia a manifestar mi repudio a dicha institución

I will not stand with my arms crossed. I will go the protest representing the people, with the people, and for the people to voice my dissent towards such an institution.

And next day, voilá, the Parade and the protest took place organized by H.I.J.O.S, an association of Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice Against Silence, whose members are relatives of those who suffered the loss of a family member during the armed conflict in Guatemala. But many things happened at the parade and protest. Sometimes a picture says more than hundred words, as journalist and blogger James Rodriguez shows on his blog.

His photo report´s title is “The March for Remembrance Halts Military Parade” There you can see the events unfolding step-by-step with some accompanying explanations. The picture on this post is part of it, and he kindly provided authorization to use it.

However, in rural Coban, the festivities were quite different as you can see in the pictures by Blog Verapaces [ES].

Con un tradicional desfile y la participación de bandas colegiales y seguramente algunas actividades especiales, el Ejercito celebró su día en la ciudad de Cobán.

With a traditional parade and the participation of school music bands, and some special activities, the Army celebrated the day in the city of Coban.

Guatemala is a small country with huge contrasts, different views, but short coverage by the press. Things that really matter are now shown by bloggers, in an open way.

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