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Gaspar Il贸m

Gaspar Il贸m was born Rodrigo Asturias, son of Miguel Angel Asturias, the Guatemalan writer, activist and Nobel Prize winner for literature. Rodrigo adopted the name Gaspar Il贸m from a fictional character in his father鈥檚 novel Men of Maize. He became involved in the revolution in 1971 when he founded the ORPA, or Armed People鈥檚 Association. In 1982, the repressive Guatemalan government under Efra铆n Rios Montt began taking brutal steps to quash the rebellion, which had continued on and off since the 1950鈥檚. The move backfired, as it caused the revolution to gain strength.

ORPA was one of four rebel groups that united to establish the National Guatemalan National Unity (URNG), and Il贸m was named its head. He generally directed his forces from exile in Mexico. Il贸m was the head of the URNG from the early 1980鈥檚 until 1996, when a peace treaty was finally signed. The URNG became converted into a legitimate political party and Il贸m ran for president, but was defeated. He died of a heart attack in 2005. His former adversary, retired general Otto P茅rez Molina, upon learning of his death described him as 鈥渁 brave man, with grand ideas, who did a great deal to bring about the end of the war.鈥

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala: History, History of Antigua, Bartolome de Las Casas and the Verapaz Experiment, Hermano Pedro, History, Historical Summary, Regional History, The Verapaces History, Tikal History and Banana Republic: The United Fruit Company And Guatemala.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
22 Apr 2009

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