Book about Guatemala’s armed conflict, “Escaping the Fire”

Related to the Washington Post article about the documentary When the Mountains Tremble, posted on July 7: I recently read a memoir titled Escaping the Fire that I recommend to anyone interested in Guatemala’s armed conflict. It’s a testimonial by an Ixil Evangelical pastor, Tomas Guzaro, as written by an American who has lived with her family for many years in Guatemala’s Ixil region, Terri McComb. David Stoll contributed the book’s Afterward.

The book is fascinating for two reasons: First, because it describes Tomas Guzaro’s evolution from Mayan priest, to leader in the Catholic faith, to Evangelical pastor. (Evangelical churches are everywhere in Guatemala, particularly in areas affected by the armed conflict). And second, because in excruciating detail, Tomas Guzaro recounts the experience of his town of Salquil being caught in the crossfire between the Guatemalan army and leftist guerrillas, and how and why that caused Guzaro to lead 200 fellow Mayas from Salquil to the relative safety of army territory. Here’s the link on Amazon.

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