OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS mourns the death of Eduardo Galeano, champion of justice and peace with the ability to put reality into unforgettable prose and poetry.
I had a memorable meeting with Eduardo in Nicaragua during the Contra War. I thanked him for including my words in his famous book, OPEN VEINS OF LATIN AMERICA. Hugo Chavez gave that book to President Barack Obama.
“The violence did not stop after that: it has been a way of life in Guatemala ever since the period of humiliation and fury begun in 1954. Corpses—although not quite so many—continue to turn up in rivers and on roadsides, their featureless faces too disfigured by torture to be identified. The slaughter that is greater but more hidden—the daily genocide of poverty—also continues. In 1968 another expelled priest, Father Blase Bonpane, reported on this sick society in the WASHINGTON POST: “Of the seventy thousand people who die each year in Guatemala, thirty thousand are children. The infant mortality rate in Guatemala is forty times higher than in the United States.”
OPEN VEINS OF LATIN AMERICA (Who Started the Violence in Guatemala?)