The politics of education : Guatemalan campus culture in the Cold War
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Endowed by the democratic ideals of 1945 Guatemalan Constitution to solve national problems, scholars at the University of San Carlos, the country’s only institute of higher learning, became powerful facilitators of the nation’s modernization project. Although the U.S. Embassy determined the political left posed no immediate threat within Guatemala after the removal of President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán in 1954, Guatemalan military generals restricted student-sponsored programs focused on literacy, public works, and medical care. An examination of declassified CIA documents, U.S. Embassy reports, and State Department records reveals that U.S officials allocated economic assistance for educational programs to mitigate the left-leaning orientation of USAC. Through the establishment of exchange programs, private “apolitical institutions” and police training programs, the U.S. attempted to indoctrinate Guatemalans to U.S. philosophies. Shielded by constitutionally-established autonomy, Guatemalan scholars and educators challenged the militarization of the Guatemalan state and U.S.-sponsored imperialistic policies by transforming the USAC campus into a space of resistance.