Forty Ninth Lecture - Vinicio Cerezo

Forty Ninth Lecture - August 14, 2012

"25 Years after the Esquipulas Agreements: Opportunities and Challenges in Central America”

Speaker: Vinicio Cerezo, Former President of Guatemala


Before that all I want to thank the invitation I did my friend, the Secretary general, Jose Miguel Insulza, on behalf of the OAS, also thank to Interamerican Dialogue by sharing the vision of celebrating and give the importance that deserves to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the Esquipulas agreements, that marked the peace, democracy and the international insertion of Central America. I also thank to my friends Donald Soldini and Bill Goodfellow for their interest in our region.

The road to peace:
In the long days of hiding lived in the years prior to the democratic opening in Guatemala and in most of the countries of Central America, in thought and in discussions of political leaders that they were fighting through various means against authoritarian governments, arose a question and a discussion:

Do achieve the democratic opening, in a quick and efficient manner, after 30 years of armed and political struggle without results.? What was the strategy most appropriate to achieve with less violence and destruction, remove "old generals of power" and begin a stage of democracy that opening the political space and the possibility of economic development?.

It was then, when inspired by the thought of the Guatemalan and Nobel Prize for literature, Miguel Angel Asturias and cited by a woman, Guatemalan and award Nobel peace, Mrs. Rigoberta Menchu, in "Testimony" Miguel Angel, in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth, inspired us to start the road to peace.

When Rigoberta wrote "the life and work of our Guatemalan brother, his words written in literary pieces or articles and expressed in many public events, show with contextual arguments that the words and ideas, are more effective than weapons and violence".

That reminds me how we started the elaboration of the strategy "The Long fight for democracy", which was an alternative to the guerrillas and repression of the army, it was to resist and work on democratic ideas, in the strengthening of citizenship and the resistance, we should be alive, and it was not easy more Thant 300 political leaders were killed, I myself am a miracle, God saved me from death in three attempts to assassinate me...

Full Speech