Locating Guatemala in Global Counterinsurgency
Guatemala, a country that during the 1980s experienced one of the most lethal counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns during the Cold War, is currently witnessing a revival of counterinsurgent order-making within the context of the global renaissance of COIN. Against this background, this article locates Guatemala within the context of the ‘global counterinsurgency’. It highlights how contemporary COIN, through depoliticizing and criminalizing forms of counterinsurgent knowledge production that frame Guatemala as a country facing a transnational ‘criminal insurgency’, becomes increasingly integrated into externally supported and community-centered ‘democratic’ police reform and neoliberal development agendas, promoted within the context of the Central America Regional Security Initiative. This integration, the article highlights, increasingly blurs the boundaries between war-making, law enforcement, peacebuilding, and development, thereby contributing to the reappearance of counterinsurgent order-making in post-conflict Guatemala.