Guatemala Army Day

Guatemala Army Day

June 30
Guatemala's Liberal Revolution, which called for the end of the dictatorship of Vicente Cerna, culminated with a revolt in Guatemala City on June 30, 1871. The coup paved the way for a successful 12-year era under President Justo Rufino Barrios, a leader of the revolution who implemented extensive agrarian reforms as Guatemala's head of state.
Originally known as Revolution Day, the anniversary of the 1871 revolt became Día del EjÉrcito (Army Day), an official holiday recognizing the service of the armed forces. Typical of most traditional military celebrations, Army Day has been marked over the years by annual parades, usually in Guatemala City, featuring processions of various battalions and divisions.
At the turn of the 21st century, a popular movement grew to force an end to Army Day celebrations. Guatemalan activists began holding a rival event in Guatemala City called the March for Remembrance in honor of the thousands of civilians killed by the repressive military leadership during the country's civil war between 1960 and 1996. The 2007 parade and accompanying protests spawned violence in the streets, and the ongoing campaign of resistance compelled the government to cancel the official parade the following year.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of Guatemala
2220 R St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-745-4952; fax: 202-745-1908
www.guatemala-embassy.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 108