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In this engaged critique of the geopolitics of knowledge, Egla Martínez Salazar examines the genocide and other forms of state terror such as racialized feminicide and the attack on Maya childhood that occurred in Guatemala of the 1980s and '90s with the full support of Western colonial powers.
At the center of her book is an examination of how coloniality survives colonialism.
What people are saying about the book:
Anchored in a tragic personal experience, Egla Martínez Salazar weaves together a theoretical-methodological frame of the current socio-historical configuration of Guatemala state and the persistence of Indigenous ways of thinking, doing, and living in Guatemala (where the author was born and raised and experienced devastating effects of the logic of coloniality). She shows how the ethno-racial homogeneity of the European nation-state has deadly consequences when enacted by people of European descent outside of Europe, and are confronted with heterogeneous ethno-racial populations as well as knowledges and ways of being that they do not understand. Genocide has been, through the history of modernity, a recurrent technology of order and homogeneity. Professor Martínez Salazar clearly shows that while the idea of citizenship works well within ethnically homogeneous states, it becomes a problem that carries into gender dynamics when it is implemented in ethnically heterogeneous colonial/modern nation-states. One of the strongest aspects of the book shows how racism works in everyday life — in racializing proper names and clothes, entangling economic injustices, and exploiting labor and expropriation of land. The white supremacy that leads to European genocides outside and inside Europe (Namibia, the Holocaust), or the consequences of coloniality that engendered local genocides (Rwanda), was reproduced in the ex-colonies of South and Central America. Professor Martínez Salazar shows in great detail how the logic of coloniality works in the Guatemala state. Attentive to the colonial wound that she herself experienced, Martinez Salazar explains genocides and feminecides as logical consequences of coloniality, the hidden agenda of modernity. Guatemala is just one case of the agenda of modernity and its hidden darker side, coloniality.
— Walter D. Mignolo, author of The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options (2011).