Caminando, vol. 38, no. 2

The Struggle for Democracy in Guatemala

Deadline to submit an article: August 1, 2024



Caminando is a bi-annual journal that aims to disseminate alternative information on social struggles and human rights in Latin America. Since 1980, Caminando has been a forum for reflection and action, through its mission to set forward critical perspectives on major issues impacting Latin American socio-political life, and shared struggles for the defence of rights and self-determination in Latin America, as well as in Quebec and Canada.

The journal also publishes stories and poems, as well as illustrations and photographs pertaining to the themes addressed in each issue. Caminando is published in French, in paper format. Articles are also published electronically on Érudit and EBSCO.

Caminando is published by the Committee for Human Rights in Latin America (CDHAL), a solidarity organization which is dedicated to defending and promoting human rights in reciprocity with social movements and communities in Latin America in the struggle for social, environmental, economic and cultural justice.


Next edition of Caminando

The success of Guatemala’s political revolution is one that was unlikely and unexpected. Behind the election of Bernado Arevalo in June 2023 is a long story of struggle, mobilization, outside interference, violence, and repression. Guatemala’s bloody civil war, which raged between 1960 all the way to 1996 and caused the death of about 200,000 people and the disappearance of close to 45,000, overwhelmingly Mayan, is a trauma that still haunts Guatemala’s people. The wounds of the civil war have left deep scars on Guatemalan society, with lasting divisions along ethnic, socio-economic, and political lines. The reconciliation process that followed the war also exposed the underlying tensions and power struggles within the country. The peace accords signed in 1996 brought hopes for a new era of democracy and stability, but the reality has been marked by ongoing challenges and setbacks.

Powerful elites, often linked to the military and business interests, wield significant influence over politics and the economy, perpetuating a system of exclusion and injustice. Indigenous communities, in particular, bear the brunt of this marginalization, facing discrimination, land dispossession, and violence. The election of Bernado Arevalo, a candidate with roots in the grassroots movements and civil society, represents a glimmer of hope for many Guatemalans. His victory signals a desire for change and a rejection of the status quo dominated by the traditional political elite. However, the road to true democratic reform is fraught with obstacles, including resistance from entrenched interests and the legacy of violence and repression. As Guatemala begins this new chapter of its history, it is crucial to reflect on the lessons of the past and to analyze what role Guatemala plays in the Central American region amidst the deterioration of democratic political systems.This issue of Caminando aims to shed light on the complex dynamics of Guatemala’s political revolution and to contribute to a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead.

By way of example, but not exclusively, your contributions could address the following themes and sub-themes:

  • Analysis of historical events by calling upon memory and justice, and key periods that have shaped the political trajectory of Guatemala.
  • Citizen participation in Guatemalan political life, including social movements, indigenous groups, feminist groups, and grassroots initiatives of civil society, and their role in promoting democracy.
  • Human rights violations: impunity, criminalization, and persecution of victims and human rights defenders, versus efforts for justice and reparations.
  • Analysis of the role of the media and freedom of expression in the consolidation of Guatemalan democracy, as well as the challenges faced by journalists and independent media.
  • Mega-projects and struggles for the defense of territories.
  • Indigenous women, knowledge, and political claims.
  • Migration and human rights, challenges for the new government.


Text format

Poems, testimonies, interviews, spoken word performances, critical analyses, event reports, reflections, and any other type of contribution will be considered.


Editorial criteria and processes

At submission

Articles are first read by the journal coordinator before being assigned to a member of the editorial board, according to their field of specialization and/or mother tongue. The criteria for the publication of papers in Caminando are that:

  1. The article’s subject matter is discussed through a critical lens.
  2. Depending on the type of text, statements made by the author are supported by relevant documentation.
  3. The text is structured in such a way as to facilitate readability (logic, clarity, conciseness).

After submission

On submission, the manuscript is assigned to a member of the editorial board covering the subject area, according to their mother tongue. The board’s role is to edit articles, taking into account analytical and critical positioning, structure and quality of language such as listed above. Furthermore, it is the board’s role to assess whether received manuscripts respect Caminando’s objectives, values and themes, while ensuring a variety of opinions and analyses, and to request modifications if needed. The Editorial Committee reserves the right to refuse an article that does not meet the stated criteria.

Translation and Revision of Texts

Following their review by the editorial committee, articles are translated by a team of volunteer translators. Translations are consequently revised by a volunteer reviser before being finally copyedited by the Caminando coordinator.


Publication Guidelines

Publication guidelines are available here.


Deadline for submissions

If you would like to contribute to the next volume of Caminando, please send a provisional title and short summary of your text by August 1, 2024, to

Full papers must be received by September 8, 2024. You are welcome to submit your article earlier if it is ready.