Don Lazaro in Requiem Guatemala

Essay by zcoolxpCollege, UndergraduateA+, April 2004

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Authority Rules

"So tonight, Don Lazaro, tonight you have to kill them," Colonel Guzman ordered Don Lazaro. Instead of asking, Don Lazaro is being told what to do throughout the entire drama in Guatemala. During the mid 1980s, terror was spread everywhere in the region of El Quiche where thousand of Indians were killed and villages were destroyed. This was a time where authority ruled and if you were a measly little Indian, you were nobody. Through his novel Requiem Guatemala, Connelly captures the reality of the time period by showing how strong the military and religion were and how authority decimated the region of El Quiche.

According to Lernoux, "Persecution against the Catholic Church was so ferocious that not a single priest or nun remained in the Quiche diocese" (1). Chapels were closed and church services were officially restricted to be practiced. However many believers traveled on foot and spread the word of God through Hosts, or bibles.

The military soon found out about this, and sentenced anyone who was caught with any religious paraphernalia to be tortured slowly to death.

During this trying time, five young catechists, or traveling priests, proudly gave their lives in exchange for the promise of maintaining the peace and health of their people. They were in Santa Cruz preaching when the military found out about their illegal behavior. The catechists had also broken the rule of teaching the Indian villagers to read. The mayor of the village, Don Lazaro, who had also been reading, was called into a meeting with Colonel Guzman.

At the meeting, Don Lazaro was ordered to kill the five brave catechists who were spreading the religion, which which at the same time was destroying the works of the military. "...You've got five boys teaching the campesinos how to...