Siglo Catorce  

rockwriter58 56M
1524 posts
7/25/2005 5:46 pm

Last Read:
3/4/2012 1:14 pm

Siglo Catorce

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♪rockwriter58♪


rockwriter58 56M
1389 posts
3/15/2006 11:59 am

Part I

Friends of mine like to compare corporate censorship to the oppression of free speech in Latin America during the 1980s and 1990s. After thinking about it, they have a point.

So as a bit of a tribute, let’s recall how the Guatemalan newspapers stood up against the state censors in the 1990s.


rockwriter58 56M
1389 posts
4/23/2006 9:12 pm

Part II

Guatemala as you may know has endured decades of instability and during its horrendous civil war a string of dictators held power. Tacit civilian control returned in the late 1980s. But by the early 1990s, one president suspended the constitution and attempted to move the country backward into the era of dictatorship. Censors moved into newsrooms and police and the army moved into the streets.

But something different happened this time. The newspapers decided to stand up to the censors. Television rolled over for the power grab, but newspaper journalists were in the vanguard of putting people into the streets to protest.

One of the most popular and influential Guatemalan papers was Siglo Veintiuno, known in English as 21st Century. During the power grab, the paper changed its name to Siglo Catorce or Fourteenth Century, to reflect how liberty and human rights had been turned backward to a time of absolutist monarchs. Other papers were also protesting in their own ways. And together the Guatemalan newspaper industry through its protests, led a popular movement that forced the president into exile and restored some semblance of freedom. What Siglo Catorce was noted for doing was protesting censorship. Any story that was touched by the censors was removed from the paper entirely and in its space the paper published white space. Often the front page was a patchwork of white space with an article or two swimming in all of that white under the new dramatic banner.

So this post is a tribute to that bravery and a commentary too. The censors have touched this blog many times. The white space at the top of this entry is our Guatemalan mark and commentary.

Corporate censorship is no better than state censorship and even though we tacitly agree to it by writing here it still makes little sense in a community of adults, many of whom are based in supposedly the countries with the most freedom in the world. Like television in Guatemala, some bloggers go along with the status quo of oppression and encourage others to do the same. But anyone in a free country should rail against censorship: be it on the net, done by the government, or engineered by corporate entities. Some bloggers though do manage to stand up for truth, no matter the consequences. A few remain here.

As a blogger who honors truth, this is my statement about where these words reside. Think about what it means to be in a place that is no better than Guatemala during the civil war, where liberties are quashed in the name of security. We are in that same place today, in so many ways.

The absence of my words will soon be further commentary on that sad state of affairs.


GleesFlakyShawl 50M
1620 posts
4/28/2006 10:08 am

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