• 1944

    After a lot of protests from the general population, Jorge Ubico Castañeda is overthrown. On July 1st he’s forced to resign.

    María was born 10 days after the Guatemalan dictator was overthrown.

    The movement, led by students and workers, is known as the October Revolution. The government of General Federico Ponce Vaides is overthrown and the first free elections in the country take place.

  • 1945

    After the revolution of October 20, Juan José Arévalo is elected president, with more than 85% of the votes.

    María grows up in a prosperous time known as “the ten years of spring”.

  • 1946

    Arévalo begins the construction of the National Library, the General Archive of the Government, the National Conservatory of Music, the reorganization of the Ballet Guatemala, the Symphony Orchestra and the National Chorus.

    Arévalo creates the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS).

    The country experiences the positive environment of the educational, economic and social reforms that favour the working class.

  • 1950

    The elections take place. The main aim of the candidate, Jacobo Árbenz, is the Agrarian Reform.

    María, then only 6-years-old, remembers the excitement of the elections. The candidate is supported by students, peasants and teachers.

  • 1951

    Juan Jacobo Árbenz, the Minister of Defense of Guatemala, is elected president in the second popular elections. There are many against it.

    María is educated to protect and care for her leader.

  • 1952

    On May 31st, the Decree 900, also known as “Agrarian Reform Law” is approved. The United Fruit Company has expropriated 64% of its land. The United States begins to intervene in the country.

    The American intervention marks María’s life. The persecution of the communists intensifies.

    The Guatemalan Party of Labour founded in 1949, is renamed as the Communist Party of Guatemala.

    At 15 years old, María joins the Young Communist Party.

  • 1954

    The CIA organizes the undercover operation code-named PBSUCCESS to overthrow the president. On June 27th at 9 pm, Jacobo Árbenz renounces the presidency of Guatemala. Carlos Castillo Armas takes over.

    Fire is set to thousands of books, in the central square of the capital of Guatemala, driven by the policies of the U.S. government against communism.

    At school, María is forced to tear and remove the pages of books considered communist.

    On July 15th, a group of pilgrims are slaughtered for having received the first lands expropriated from the United Fruit Company.

    María begins to witness the bloodshed in her country.

  • 1960

    On November 13th, a military uprising and revolutionary movement emerged, led by young dissidents, which preceded the emergence of the Guatemalan guerrillas.

    From the capital, María decides to join the fight and takes part of an army formed mostly by students.

  • 1962

    Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes embezzles lands in favour of United Fruit Company, breaks relations with Cuba and violently represses the opposition.

    María lives in the capital and witnesses how Fuentes tries to control the state.


  • 1963

    On March 31st, Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes is overthrown in a coup d’état led by Enrique Peralta Azurdia.

    María supports the overthrow of Fuentes along with the urban resistance. Having graduated as a teacher, she decides to go underground.

  • 1966

    The forces responsible for the order, capture civilians as a method of limiting the opposition. This is when the incident known as “the 28 missing” happens.

    María’s brother-in-law is captured, tortured, killed and thrown into the sea. María’s group captures three representatives of the Government asking for an answer to the 28 missing.

    On October 2nd, Luis Augusto Turcios Lima died in a traffic accident at three o’clock in the morning. María is convinced that it was an attack.

  • 1968

    María’s daughter is born underground and María decides to return to civilian life.

  • 1971

    The guerrilla ORPA (Revolutionary Organization of Armed People) splits away from the rebel armed forces.

    María’s husband joins them and is killed by one of his companions, who carries his bloodied body back home to María. María must once again return to hiding underground again.

    María leaves Guatemala and looks for asylum in Cuba. She’s accepted only because she’s in possession of classified information about a landing in Cuba.

  • 1982-1989

    On February 7th, the FAR (Rebel Armed Forces) are integrated into the National Revolutionary Unity.

    After being in Mexico, María returns to Guatemala. She is recruited by the FAR, where she is trained as an announcer and writer of scripts for radio. She experiences the division of the left.

    The guerrillas are experiencing a crisis. She has an inner conflict.

    She is taken to a security house in Mexico, where she is accused of stealing a radio and arrested. She confronts the commander and returns to Guatemala.

  • 1990

    María gets out of the organization and leaves Mexico. She finally arrives in Quebec.