Sep 15, 2013

INDEPENDENCE DAY TODAY: Guatemala celebrates the 192nd anniversary of independence from Spain

¨The history of Guatemala begins with the arrival of human settlers ca. 12,000–18,000 BC. Civilization developed and flourished during the Pre–Columbian era with little contact among the cultures external to Mesoamerica. The Guatemalan region of Mesoamerica was dominated by the Maya civilization (2,000 BC – AD 250). Most of the great Classic-era (AD 250–900) Maya cities of the Petén Basin region, in the northern lowlands of Guatemala, had been abandoned by the year AD 1,000. The states in the Guatemalan central highlands flourished until the arrival in 1525 of Pedro de Alvarado, the Spanish Conquistador. Called "the invader" by the Mayan peoples, he began subjugating the Indian states with his forces.
Conquered Guatemala was part of the Spanish Empire for nearly 300 years until it became independent in 1821. It was first part of the First Mexican Empire (1821–23) until becoming fully independent in the 1840s. Since then, Guatemala's political history has had periods of democratic government, interrupted by periods of civil war and military juntas. In the late 20th-century, most of Guatemala emerged from a 36-year civil war (1960–96) and re-established representative democracy. It has struggled to enforce the rule of law and suffers a high crime rate, as well as continued extrajudicial killings, often executed by security forces...¨ there is more:

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