dia de todos santos
Done with the intensive fact-gathering of this trip, back in Antigua. Some other time I'll have to figure out how to write about spending a week in a farming town; sleeping on a borrowed bed in a "model village" constructed by the army to house displaced massacre victims; visiting the cemetery and schoolhouse with their monuments to the dead decorated with eerie, cartoon-like illustrations of people being bayoneted, hung from trees, set on fire; driving out to the dam in the back of a pickup, taking a motorboat across the reservoir, having survivors of the massacre point out the locations (now underwater) where the slaughters took place; drinking water with lime in the ragtag, cinder-block and corrugated-tin settlement on the reservoir shore where some fifteen families have returned, despite the lack of arable land, to reestablish their old village. I don't think I really will be able to write about these things, except in fiction.
Because the political situation down here is getting a mite hairy, I am going home a few days early. The latest is a decree basically railroaded through Congress by the ruling FRG party which prohibits economic activity for the three days surrounding the election: no shops, no hotels, no restaurants, nowhere for me to eat or sleep. It's a pretty transparent bid to help them falsify the vote counts and most don't think it can really happen; but the uncertainty plus the threat of riots, the murders and kidnappings that have been happening, the fact that people are bold enough to attack Rigoberta Menchú on the steps of the Constitutional Court, make me inclined to bow out before the elections. Be returning Friday.