In the 1980s, El Salvador and Guatemala were in the midst of brutal civil wars pitting leftist guerrillas against military counterinsurgencies, in a political context of repression, foreign intervention, and dictatorship. El Salvador’s Peace Accords (1992) successfully demilitarized the country and have been hailed as a model for what such agreements can achieve. By contrast, many elements of Guatemala’s Peace Accords (1996) were never implemented and the agreement is often considered a failure; yet unlike El Salvador until very recently, Guatemala has brought some of those responsible for wartime atrocities to trial in national courts.
“What Was Achieved” considers current conditions in both countries in the wake of their peace agreements, focusing on migration, impunity, and social justice. Taking advantage of an unusual constellation of expertise and interest in Central America at Marquette and in the Milwaukee area, it asks what challenges remain and whether any lessons might be applied to other conflicts worldwide.
On Thursday afternoon, a keynote panel discussion on the conflicts and peace accords themselves will feature distinguished guests with deep experience in both countries. On Friday, three roundtables will bring our invited speakers into structured but informal conversation with Marquette faculty and students, community members, and the audience.
The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited — register here.