Elections and Events 1900-1943

1900

Booth 1999: “By 1900 coffee accounted for 85 percent of Guatemala’s exports, and as landownership concentrated increasingly in their hands, latifundist coffee growers dominated Guatemalan economics and politics” (page 45).

Grandin 2004: “By 1900, German individuals and corporations produced two-thirds of all of Alta Verapaz’s coffee trade, while four German firms controlled 80 percent of the department’s export” (page 24).

Henn 1996: “Al pasar un gran número de fincas de guatemaltecos a manos de alemanes, a fines del siglo XIX y principios del XX, empezó a crecer la animosidad contra los acreedores alemanes, actitud que, en algunos casos, degeneró en odio” (page 268).

Metallo 1998: “Estrada Cabrera encouraged the presence of the Protestants to weaken the secular power of the Roman Catholic Church. He provided missionaries with a number of special concessions” (page 291).

Weaver 1994: “In the late nineteenth century, German-owned coffee fincas constituted about 10 percent of the total but produced as much as 40 percent of Guatemala’s coffee exports. The German finqueros, located primarily in Alta Verapaz, far from the social and political center of Guatemala, remained aloof from Guatemalan national politics” (page 86).

1903

July

Rendón 1996: “El 12 de julio de 1903, Estrada Cabrera convocó a una sesión extraordinaria de la Asamblea Nacional para cambiar el artículo 66 de la Constitución, lo cual le permitiría continuar en su cargo seis años más y prolongar su presidencia por medio de la reelección” (page 22). “Después de conseguir la enmienda al artículo 66 de la Constitución, Estrada Cabrera fue reconocido como Jefe del Partido Liberal…Rápidamente, los partidarios de Estrada Cabrera, en especial los jefes políticos y diputados, comenzaron a organizar manifestaciones de apoyo popular a la reelección” (page 23).

Thesing 1976: Estrada Cabrera “reforma los artículos de la Constitución que se refieren al período presidencial. Para alcanzar su objetivo, convoca una Asamblea Constituyente que satisface sus deseos el 12 de julio de 1903” (page 12).

1904

Rendón 1996: “En 1904 los batallones de todos los pueblos estimaron necesario dar a conocer públicamente su apoyo a la reelección del dictador. A medida que se acercaba la fecha de la votación, los jefes políticos y ministros del Estado reorganizaban los clubes liberales…En la victoria de Estrada Cabrera fue decisiva la participación de estos clubes, el trabajo de los jefes políticos y de otros servidores públicos” (page 24).

January

Dosal 1993: “(O)nly a dictator could have authorized the terms of the 1904 concession [signed January 12, 1904] by which Guatemala surrendered the Northern Railway to Minor Keith. Had it been necessary for Estrada Cabrera to engage in meaningful consultation with the cabinet, legislature, or judiciary, United Fruit may not have acquired the concessions that deprived the country of its economic sovereignty” (page 38). Describes the terms of the agreement (page 44). “Minor Keith was not just the man who built or acquired most Central American railroads and founded the world’s largest banana company; he was also known as the uncrowned king of Central America” (page 55).

July: presidential election (Estrada Cabrera / Liberal)

Holden 2004: Estrada Cabrera “declared victory in the 1904 election by a risibly fraudulent margin of 548,830 votes to 3 for General Barillas” (page 55).

Rendón 1996: “La primera reelección se realizó a principios de julio de 1904. La maquinaria para este evento fue impresionante y demostró el poder de Estrada Cabrera sobre extensos e importantes sectores, especialmente los servidores públicos y la mayor parte de los ladinos. Pocos ciudadanos se acercaban a los puestos de votación por su propia voluntad. Quienes acudían a votar eran principalmente indígenas y otros ciudadanos inocentes, incapaces de evitar la presión de las autoridades locales y, por lo tanto, se les veía acompañados por agentes del gobierno” (page 24).

Taracena Arriola 1994: “Las elecciones se desarrollaron en julio de 1904 y el presidente obtuvo la bicoca de 548.830 votos contra 3 del general Barillas” (page 214).

August

Rendón 1996: “El 7 de agosto de 1904, la Asamblea Nacional declaró a Estrada Cabrera popularmente electo. Ganó con un total de 550,000 votos en un país de 1,500.000 habitantes. De éstos, sólo 750,000 eran hombres y, por lo tanto, ciudadanos aptos para votar, pero muchos eran menores y analfabetos” (page 24).

1905

Rendón 1996: “El segundo período presidencial duraría del 15 de marzo de 1905 al 15 de marzo de 1911” (page 24).

1906

Dosal 1993: In 1906 “former President Barillas and his ally, Salvadoran Minister of War Tomás Regalado, led rebel armies into Guatemala…(T)he United States and Mexico arranged a truce between the warring factions in July 1906” (page 50).

Pitti 1975: “Honduras and El Salvador allowed Guatemalan rebels, hoping to dethrone Estrada Cabrera and replace him with former President Manuel Lisandro Barillas, to use their territories as bases from which to launch an invasion against the Guatemalan government in March of 1906. But Estrada Cabrera successfully withstood the attacks” (page 6).

1907

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “In 1906, the monolithic United Fruit Company set up shop in Guatemala and quickly bought up the ‘terrenos baldíos’ of the torrid zone along the Atlantic coast for fruit production” (page 49).

Pitti 1975: In 1907, Estrada Cabrera “appointed [Jorge] Ubico to serve as ‘jefe político’ and ‘comandante de armas’ of Alta Verapaz, a post which the young colonel held until 1909” (page 7). “Ubico’s mobilization of the laboring force to serve the state and not the German coffee growers, who previously had exploited the Indians with impunity, fostered considerable tension between the young jefe político and the Europeans” (page 8).

April

Taracena Arriola 1994: Former president Barillas is assassinated in Mexico City on April 7, 1907 (page 214).

1908

Schlewitz 1999: “In 1908, a group of cadets attempted but failed to assassinate Cabrera. In response, Cabrera executed all the cadets who did not manage to escape…and razed the military academy. [Jorge] Ubico floated above this debacle in the northern department of Alta Verapaz as governor and senior military commander (‘Jefe Político’ and ‘Comandante de Armas’—the positions were commonly occupied by one person), a department in which German coffee producers were dominant” (page 61).

1910

Holden 2004: “An important sign of the deepening U.S. military interest in the isthmus was the assignment in 1910 of the first military attaché to a Central American country, Guatemala. The attaché is a kind of public spy, charged with supplying politico-military intelligence from closed as well as open sources” (page 43).

Presidential election (Estrada Cabrera / Liberal)

Calvert 1985: “(T)he president (was) reelected in 1910 and 1916 without opposition” (page 69).

Rendón 1996: “Estrada Cabrera ganó la segunda reelección para su tercer período con una aplastante mayoría de 551,145 votos. Se le eligió para el período comprendido del 15 de marzo de 1911 a marzo de 1917” (page 24).

1911

Pitti 1975: In 1911, Jorge Ubico “accepted an appointment as jefe político and comandante de armas of Retalhuleu” (page 9).

1913

Williams 1994: “By 1913 there were 170 German-owned coffee farms that accounted for 36 percent of Guatemalan coffee production” (page 170).

1914

Henn 1996: “Al estallar la conflagración europea el 4 de agosto de 1914, Guatemala declaró su neutralidad el 12 de ese mismo mes” (page 270).

1915

Rendón 1996: “En 1915, Estrada Cabrera empezó a organizar su tercera y última reelección para el período comprendido de 1917 a 1923…Para ello, no sólo resucitó los clubes ‘liberales’ del pasado, sino creó otros nuevos. En 1915 existían más de 500 clubes políticos funcionando en toda la república, y por lo menos 200 publicaciones de inspiración cabrerista” (page 24).

1916

Presidential election (Estrada Cabrera / Liberal)

Munro 1967: “Although all power is centered in the hands of one man, the forms of the constitution are still observed and elections are held regularly in accordance with the law. They are, moreover, participated in, not by a few chosen voters...but by the entire body of citizens. In a presidential election...all classes of the population are rounded up by the military and taken to the polls, where they exercise a right of suffrage restricted only by the fact that they are not permitted to vote for any but the official candidates. The number of votes for the re-election of the president thus equals, when it does not exceed, the total number of adult males in the republic” (pages 55-56). “President Estrada Cabrera was unanimously re-elected in 1916" (page 74).

Rendón 1996: “La nueva reelección fue tan exitosa que llegó a ser conocida como la elección de ‘la millonada’, porque, según se contaba, en dicha ocasión Estrada Cabrera recibió 10 millones de votos” (page 27).

March

Henn 1996: “(E)l gobierno de Guatemala…no prorrogó el Tratado de 1887 [con Alemania], que caducó en marzo de 1916” (page 270).

Rendón 1996: “El 15 de marzo de 1916, Estrada Cabrera fue declarado Presidente popularmente electo por una mayoría de 80,000 votos, para el período de 1917 a 1923” (page 27).

1917

Henn 1996: “El 27 de 1917 [Guatemala] declaró rotas las relaciones diplomáticas [con Alemania]” (page 270).

1918

Grandin 2004: “Post-World War I German immigrants, more nationally German than their predecessors, came to dominate city government [in Cobán], importing a new kind of politics” (page 24).

Williams 1994: “Some…German [coffee] holdings were seized by the Guatemalan government during World War I, but many were returned to their original owners after the war, beginning a renewed expansion of German holdings in Guatemala” (page 170).

February

Pitti 1975: “In February 1918…Ubico was elected to the National Legislative Assembly as a Deputy from Amatitlán” (page 19).

1919

Casey 1979: “After two decades of repression and dictatorial rule, political opponents of Estrada Cabrera in 1919 organized the Unionist Party which soon became dedicated to overthrowing his government” (page 106).

Dosal 1993: “The Unionist party, a political coalition founded in December 1919 to promote Central America’s reunification, actually advocated the immediate termination of the twenty-two-year-old tyranny, by armed rebellion if necessary. Led by Conservatives tied to the landed oligarchy…, the Unionists also attracted support among the urban propletariat, artisans, students, and industrialists” (page 95).

Grandin 2004: “Bringing together a diverse coalition that included artisans, laborers, peasants, intellectuals, middle-class and provincial professionals, and middling planters, the Partido Unionista best represented the democratic impulse of the 1920s” (page 28).

Rendón 1996: “Con el pretexto de que se trataba de una organización llamada a luchar por la federación centroamericana…, el acta de fundación del partido…fue firmado…el 25 de diciembre de 1919” (page 31).

Taracena Arriola 1994: The Partido Unionista is created in December 1919 (page 231).

1920

Dosal 1993: “(T)he Unionists…allied with dissident Liberals in the legislature led by Adrian Vidaurre. The two parties worked out a compromise whereby they would appoint Carlos Herrera, a Liberal and a wealthy landowner known more for his managerial skills than his commitment to liberalism, the provisional president of a bipartisan government” (page 96).

Garrard-Burnett 1998: Protestant “missionaries—still valued for their promise of wholesome, civilizing values and modernizing projects—continued to enjoy the support of the national government, even during the experimental period of the 1920s. Relations were especially rosy in the early years of the decade” (page 68).

Henn 1996: “En 1919 y 1920 retornaron a Guatemala los alemanes que habían permanecido en Europa durante la guerra, quienes tenían fuertes intereses en el país y deseaban recuperar sus bienes intervenidos” (page 271).

Metallo 1998: “Estrada Cabrera’s fall was the beginning of a new era in Guatemala. The change in government encouraged a wave of foreign immigration into the country, and with this wave came an influx of missionaries from the United States” (page 259).

Steigenga 2001: “By the end of Estrada Cabrera’s regime in 1920, ‘ladinos’ with strong connections to the national government and the newly professionalized Guatemalan army had begun to solidify their influence at the local level. As the old societal structure broke down, a new system arose under the leadership of the ‘ladinos’ who controlled land and labor and had access to the coercive powers of the state. Power was transferred from the central government to local ‘caudillos.’ The ‘caudillos’ maintained control through a system of repression and patronage at the local level. This system came to provide the basic structure of village politics for the next sixty years” (page 67).

January

Pitti 1975: On “January 1, 1920…the existence of the [Unionist Party] was publicly announced” (page 23).

Rendón 1996: “A finales de enero de 1920, [Estrada Cabrera] decidió convocar una convención liberal. El gobierno de Estados Unidos ya le había advertido que no toleraría otra reelección” (page 32).

March

Pitti 1975: “(T)he dictator responded to Unionist demands by jailing the important labor, student, and party leaders. By the middle of March over four hundred persons had been imprisoned, and the Unionists admitted that it was now their purpose to overthrow the tyrant by violent means if necessary” (page 25). “Toward the end of March [the Unionists] began to pressure the National Legislative Assembly to impeach Cabrera” (page 26).

Rendón 1996: “(E)n la inauguración del período de sesiones del Parlamento, el 1o de marzo de 1920, se reconoció al Partido Unionista, cuya existencia quedó así legalizada. El siguiente paso decisivo fue la manifestación unionista del 11 de marzo, durante la cual el ejército disparó contra la muchedumbre indefensa. Ello unificó a la opinión pública y diplomática contra el continuismo de Estrada Cabrera” (page 32).

April

Calvert 1985: “On 8 April, to massive applause, (Congress) declared the dictator mentally unfit to continue his duties and appointed an interim president, Herrera” (page 69).

Díaz Romeu 1996: “Al derrumbarse el régimen cabrerista asumió la presidencia provisional Carlos Herrera, un agricultor de holgada posición económica, que había sido Alcalde de la ciudad de Guatemala en 1891 y que, en 1920, fungía como diputado de la Asamblea Legislativa. Estaba afiliado al Partido Liberal oficial, y era entonces Primer Designado…Herrera se ocupó de convocar a elecciones presidenciales el 24 de abril de ese año” (page 37).

Dosal 1993: “Hence, the Unionist rebellion against Estrada Cabrera succeeded only in removing a dictator; it did not overturn forty-nine years of Liberal rule. A legislature dominated by Liberals declared the old caudillo insane and appointed Herrera provisional president on April 8” (page 96).

Grandin 2004: “A twisted heir to the worst authoritarian aspects of Latin American liberalism, Estrada Cabrera, twenty-two years in power, is remembered today as the president who turned over Guatemala’s railroads, electric company, ports, and vast tracts of land to the United Fruit Company. By 1920, everybody, even those who benefited from his heavy and generous hand, knew it was time for him to go. On April 8, the dictator’s handpicked Congress declared him insane and elected Carlos Herrera, one of Guatemala’s wealthiest sugar and coffee growers, interim president” (page 27).

Holden 2004: “After the legislature withdrew its recognition from the Estrada government on 8 April, the tide turned against the dictator when his army divided, with some forces joining the opposition. A four-day civil war took, by one account, an astonishing seventeen hundred lives before Estrada resigned on 13 April” (page 55).

Jiménez 1981: Carlos Herrera Luna assumes power as first designate on April 8, 1920 (page 191). Cabrera resigns on April 14, 1920 (page 187).

Krehm 1957: The Assembly declares Cabrera insane and orders him to seek treatment (page 68). Cabrera responds with an attack on the city that kills more than a thousand people. Upon his defeat he is confined to a room in the military academy where he dies three years later.

Pitti 1975: “On April 8, the deputies, all personally selected by Don Manuel, abjured their past ties to the despot and declared him insane and no longer capable of governing Guatemala. Congress then voted to replace him with Carlos Herrera, a civilian planter and one of the wealthiest men in the Republic…On April 9, Cabrera ordered troops still loyal to him to bombard Guatemala City which was held by the Unionists…On April 15 congress accepted his resignation” (pages 26-27).

Rendón 1996: “Muchos diputados fueron propuestos para el cargo de Presidente provisional, entre ellos Carlos Herrera (entonces Primer Designado a la Presidencia)[,] el General Francisco Fuentes, y el Licenciado Antonio Saravia” (page 33). “Herrera ganó las elecciones por 36 votos…La reacción de Estrada Cabrera, que consistió en bombardear la ciudad y pelear contra el pueblo, en lo que se llegó a conocer como la ‘semana trágica’ (del 9 al 15 de abril), atemorizó al pueblo y apresuró la solución pacífica” (page 34).

Schlewitz 1999: “In April of 1920, the Unionist Party—an odd coalition of Conservative and Liberal elites, middle class groups, and the small organized labor sector—convinced the National Assembly to declare an ailing Cabrera insane. Carlos Herrera, a member of the Liberal landowning elite, was selected to act as provisional president” (page 62).

August: presidential election (Herrera Luna / Liberal)

Campang Chang 1992: “Carlos Herrera, electo en 1920, a la caída de Estrada Cabrera, recibió 246,976 votos contra 14,135 votos de varios otros candidatos” (page 10).

Díaz Romeu 1996: “Las elecciones se realizaron en agosto, y participaron como candidatos el propio Carlos Herrera, apoyado por el Partido Unionista y el Partido Liberal; el General José León Castillo, conocido líder anticabrerista; el General Francisco Fuentes, y el Ingeniero Rafael Ponciano. Herrera ganó las elecciones con amplio margen” (page 37).

Grandin 2004: “The sudden emergence of multiparty competition opened the way for grassroots participation in civic life as never before, and local branches of political parties worked to get out the vote” (page 30). “After five days of balloting designed to allow those who lived in remote areas time to get to the polls, Herrera won 239,510 votes while his two main rivals garnered a total of a little over 13,000” (page 218).

Jones 1966: Gives unofficial votes for top three candidates for president (page 69).

September

Gaitán A. 1992: Herrera “toma posesión el 15 de septiembre de 1920” (page 75).

Schlewitz 1999: Ubico is “Chief of the General Staff in the new government of Carlos Herrera…Herrera ushered in an unprecedented amount of political freedom, including an independent National Assembly [and] expansion of suffrage” (page 62).

October

García Laguardia 1988: “(E)n octubre de 1920, el presidente Herrera convocó un nuevo constituyente” (page 574).

December

Grandin 2004: “By the end of 1920, the Partido Unionista had organized branches in most department capitals and large municipalities” (page 217).

1921

Grandin 2004: “By 1921, close to 40 percent…of the the total population of Alta Verapaz…lived on plantations as resident peons,…exchanging their labor for the right to live and plant, either because they contracted with the owner or because their village was incorporated into a newly created farm” (page 24).

January

Díaz Romeu 1996: “El evento más notable ocurrido durante el régimen de Herrera fue…el intento de restablecer la República Federal de Centro América…Se firmó un pacto de unión provisional en San José de Costa Rica, el 9 de enero de 1921, y después se convocó un Congreso Federal, en Tegucigalpa, para elaborar la Ley Fundamental de la nueva República Federal. Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador aceptaron el pacto, no así Nicaragua y Costa Rica” (page 38).

García Laguardia 1988: “(U)n proyecto de reformas presentado por una Comisión en enero de 1921…sustancialmente ampliadas fueron aprobadas por el pleno en marzo del mismo año” (page 574).

March

Electoral observation in Guatemala, 1999 2001: “In 1921, the right to vote was restricted to literate males or those holding public office, 18 years of age” (page 11).

García Laguardia 1988: Las reformas a la constitución incluyen “sufragio capacitario negando el voto a los analfabetas que concedía la Constitución del 79…(S)e negó también el voto a la mujer, con un solo voto de diferencia” (page 574). “(L)imitaba los poderes presidenciales, al reducir período [y] prohibir reelección” (page 575).

Pitti 1975: Herrera “permitted the National Legislative Assembly to curtail much of the power of the Executive by enacting a new Constitution, making the legislature supreme” (page 30).

Rodríguez de Ita 2003: “(E)n la legislación guatemalteca, los partidos políticos fueron reconocidos como tales sólo hasta después de la Constitución Federal de 1921” (page 86).

Thesing 1976: “De nuevo se convoca a una Asamblea Constituyente, la que promulga una nueva Constitución el 11 de marzo de 1921. Esta contiene una serie de nuevas ideas. El período presidencial se limita de nuevo a 4 años, la reelección se permite después de 8 años” (page 13).

Villanueva 1994: “En 1921 sólo pueden votar los varones alfabetos o con cargo consejil mayores de 18 años” (page 123).

April

Díaz Romeu 1996: Herrera “se vio forzado a ceder a las presiones de unos y otros, sin quedar bien con nadie. Los liberales lo acusaron de preferir a los conservadores y, en abril de 1921, se separaron del unionismo para formar el Partido Democrático. Este celebró una convención en Quezaltenango y tomó el nombre de Liberal Federalista” (page 37).

May

Alexander 1957: “The Guatemalan Communist Party was first organized soon after World War I, in the wake of the overthrow of the twenty-year dictatorship of President Estrada Cabrera. A group of workers in the government arsenals established an organization which they called Unificación Obrera, in which students and some Liberal Party politicians participated...(O)n May Day, 1921, the group was reorganized and rechristened Unificación Obrera Socialista” (page 350).

September

Jiménez 1981: The liberals battle to overthrow the conservative government of Herrera. The congress is discharged on September 30, 1921 (page 192).

Pitti 1975: “On September 30, a large Liberal-sponsored demonstration paraded down the main street of the capital and demanded that Herrera abolish the…congress” (page 35).

October

Dosal 1993: “(T)he nationalistic coalition that had brought Herrera into power disintegrated, as Liberals and Conservatives renewed their traditional conflicts over a range of issues” (page 101).

December

Díaz Romeu 1996: “El 5 de diciembre de 1921, la oposición liberal se materializó en un golpe de Estado que entregó el poder a un triunvirato formado por los generales José María Lima, José María Orellana y Miguel Larrave” (page 38).

Dosal 1993: “The long-anticipated reactionary coup began at midnight, December 6, and ended five hours later with Herrera’s resignation…A provisional junta composed of Generals Orellana, José María Lima, and Miguel Larrave rescinded the Unionist constitution, reconvened Estrada Cabrera’s legislature, and invalidated all legislative acts passed since April 1920. The coup was clearly a victory for the old Liberal guard that had been loyal to Estrada Cabrera. Orellana was a personal favorite and protégé of Estrada Cabrera, and he quickly emerged as the most powerful junta member…Although it is unlikely that American interests initiated the coup, the United States assisted Orellana’s efforts to consolidate power” (page 102).

Gaitán A. 1992: “Finalmente, los militares de vieja cepa no miraban con buenos ojos la actitud de un gobierno civilista que daba libertades al pueblo de Guatemala, y el 5 de diciembre de 1921, en horas de la noche, se produce un levantamiento armado jefeado por el general José María Orellana, quien presionó la renuncia del presidente Herrera” (page 76). “El 15 de diciembre [Orellana] hace la convocatoria a elecciones a la vez que se presenta como candidato” (page 77).

Grandin 2004: “Herrera’s inability to control the countryside led to his overthrow in late 1921 by a military general who, while not returning to the levels of repression that marked the Estrada Cabrera dictatorship, clamped down on agrarian protest and tamed the urban labor movement” (page 31).

Jiménez 1981: Congress is convened and on December 15, 1921 Orellana is named first designate for presidency (page 192-193).

Pitti 1975: “Within hours after the cuartelazo, the troika declared that the incumbent congress had been seated illegally and that, therefore, all of the Assembly’s legislation, including the promulgation of the Constitution, had no legal basis. The pre-1921 Constitution and the Assembly that existed at the time of Cabrera’s fall were reinstated; and Herrera’s First Designate, José Ernesto Zelaya, was disqualified from succeeding to the presidency. Zelaya…was replaced as First Designate by General José María Orellana who now became the Provisional President. A member of the military junta, Orellana announced that elections would be held in February” (page 36). Jorge Ubico is named “Minister of War on December 11, 1921” (page 37).

Schlewitz 1999: “In December 1921, with Ubico’s support, General José Manuel Orellana (not to be confused with General Manuel Orellana, the author of the coup against Baudilio Palma in 1930) removed Herrera in a bloodless coup. Orellana took the presidency, and made Ubico the War Minister” (page 64).

Taracena Arriola 1994: “El 5 de diciembre de 1921, un triunvirato encabezado por el general José María Orellana derrocó a Herrera” (page 233).

Thesing 1976: “Los militares tomaron el poder el 5 de diciembre de 1921 y convocaron a una Asamblea Constituyente. Los militares derogan la Constitución de 1921 y se pone en vigor la Constitución de 1879 con las reformas que introduce la nueva Constituyente” (page 13).

1922

Berger 1986: “(B)y 1922, over one-half of the total land under coffee cultivation was owned by foreigners, of which German nationals played a key role” (page 84).

Ebel 1998: Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes is appointed governor of the the department of Retalhuleu (page 4).

February 1

Dosal 1993: “On February 1, 1922, Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles informed the Guatemalan foreign minister that the United States would recognize the Orellana government provided it was confirmed in a popular election and agreed to settle the disputes with IRCA [International Railways of Central America] and the electric company to American satisfaction” (page 103).

February 22: presidential election (Orellana / Liberal)

Díaz Romeu 1996: “Orellana convocó a elecciones presidenciales, en las cuales se suponía que sería el candidato único de los liberales. Sorpresivamente, sin embargo, un fuerte grupo de este partido propuso la candidatura de Jorge Ubico…Pero Ubico retiró su candidatura, ante la promesa de Orellana de que no se reeligiría” (pages 38-39).

Dosal 1993: “With the military controlling the electoral machinery and silencing the opposition, Orellana’s confirmation in elections held on February 22 was a foregone conclusion. In the days before the elections, the military crushed rebellions in at least twelve communities, including the Conservative stronghold of Antigua, but the electoral process still eliminated one of the obstacles to American recognition” (page 103).

Pitti 1975: “The 1922 election” (pages 73-78).

March

Díaz Romeu 1996: Orellana “comenzó su período constitucional el 4 de marzo de 1922” (page 39).

April

Jiménez 1981: “Por Decreto Legislativo del 29 de abril de 1922, [Ubico] fue electo primer designado a la presidencia de la República” (page 230).

Pitti 1975: “Washington recognized the new Guatemalan government on April 15, 1922” (page 72).

Schlewitz 1999: “It soon became clear to Orellana that Ubico sought the presidency for himself. To weaken Ubico, Orellana in 1922 named him ‘Primer Designado,’ the first of three possible successors to the presidency in the case of emergency. It was in reality a demotion because by law Ubico would have to resign from the Cabinet to assume the position…[Ubico] retired to manage his father’s farm for the next three years, though he maintained his political network” (pages 64-65).

August

Pitti 1975: “Beginning on August 20, 1922, Orellana was confronted with the gravest crisis of his administration. For nearly two weeks, myriad uprising and assassinations throughout the Republic, but especially in the countryside, threatened to bring down the government. Orellana declared martial law and indefinitely cancelled many Constitutional guarantees in an effort to restore order” (pages 83-84). “Increasingly after the August 1922 revolts, workers were attracted to organizations that had no connection with either of the two traditional parties; instead, they looked to the Communist Party or other Socialist groups” (page 88).

September

Pitti 1975: “Claiming that ecclesiastics had violated their sacerdotal function by using their pulpits to preach sedition and rebellion, the Orellana regime laid major responsibility for the abortive revolt on the Roman Catholic Church and expelled numerous priests from the Republic” (page 84). “On September 7…the Archbishop was deported to El Salvador” (page 85).

November

Pitti 1975: Orellana’s “November 16, 1922 decree…subjected all ecclesiastical nominations to the approval of the government” (page 85). “Without the active support of the Catholic hierarchy, the Conservative cause markedly deteriorated” (page 87).

1923

Alexander 1957: The Unificación Obrera Socialista is renamed the Partido Comunista (page 351).

Saénz Juárez 2002: The electoral law is reformed in 1923 by decree number 848 (page 9).

April

Pitti 1975: “In April, the Orellanista-controlled Assembly…voted not to extend Ubico’s term as First Designate for another year. Instead, the two men chosen as Vice-Presidents were both loyal backers of the Chief Executive” (page 155).

December: congressional election

Pitti 1975: “In early December 1923, all of the official candidates for the Assembly won overwhelming victories in an election that was termed [farcical] by the American diplomatic corps. Regardless of the legitimacy of the vote, Orellana’s hand was markedly strengthened. For the first time, congress was composed of a majority of loyal, hand-picked Orellanistas who avidly would sustain the President’s policies” (page 136).

1924

Gleijeses 1991: “UFCO had expanded swiftly and efficiently in Guatemala. In a 1924 agreement with President Orellana, it consolidated and enlarged its holdings on the Caribbean coast, creating the immense division of Bananera” (page 90).

1925

February

Pitti 1975: “In February 1925, the first clandestine Ubiquista organization was founded” (page 158).

May

Pitti 1975: “On May 10, 1925…six individuals proclaimed the founding of the ‘Partido Progresista’” (page 161).

December: congressional election

Pitti 1975: “To foster internecine competition among their opponents, the clerical party…absented itself from the congressional elections held in late December 1925. Such a tactic, however, merely kept the Conservatives badly disorganized and vastly outnumbered” (page 87). “The first major test for the Ubiquista forces came at the time of the congressional elections in December 1925. Confident of success, the Partido Progresista ran candidates in every district in the Republic, conducting a vigorous and often rancorous campaign…(T)he Conservatives abstained from nominating their own candidates, thereby intensifying the Liberal struggle” (page 165). “(G)overnment candidates won overwhelming victories throughout the nation. In only fifteen districts did the Orellanistas face more than nominal opposition. The election results in the capital clearly demonstrated the resounding defeat suffered by the Progressives. The Liberals received 3,289 votes, the Progresistas, 506; and the Conservatives, 178…Ubiquistas claimed that ninety percent of all enfranchised Guatemalans had supported the Progressives but that the government had failed to record most of the unfavorable ballots” (page 166). Discusses fraud charges.

1926

Jonas 1974: “The principal task of the Liberals was an ‘agrarian reform’ which would facilitate a new accumulation of wealth…By 1926, concentration of land tenure was such that only 7.3 percent of the population owned property” (page 134).

Saénz Juárez 2002: The electoral law is reformed in 1926 by decree number 935 (page 9).

September

Díaz Romeu 1996: “El General Orellana no llegó a terminar su período de gobierno, aun cuando ya había comenzado a preparar su campaña para reelegirse. Una angina de pecho le quitó sorpresivamente la vida el 26 de septiembre de 1926...(S)e notificó al General Lázaro Chacón, Primer Designado, quien al día siguiente asumió el gobierno provisional…Los primeros designados [fueron] virtuales vicepresidentes de turno que la Asamblea nombraba cada año de acuerdo con la Constitución…El General Chacón no parecía tener el propósito de quedarse de Presidente, pero los políticos que pronto lo rodearon, los ministros de Orellana entre ellos, lo convencieron de lanzar su candidatura para las próximas elecciones que debían realizarse en octubre de ese mismo año. Apoyaba a Chacón el Partido Liberal Federalista, que había postulado a Orellana en 1924. El Partido Progresista, también de origen liberal y organizado unos años antes, lanzó la candidatura del General Jorge Ubico” (page 39).

Schlewitz 1999: “When General Orellana died suddenly in 1926, the ‘Primer Designado,’ General Lazaro Chacón, assumed power, and called for presidential elections. Ubico returned to the political fray, establishing a new party, the ‘Liberales Progresistas’ [built around the Generation of 1920]…This group sought social and democratic reforms, and decried foreign imperialism’” (page 65).

December: general election (Chacón / PLF)

Díaz Romeu 1996: “Las elecciones se cerraron el 5 de diciembre, con el triunfo esperado del candidato oficial, cosa que no aceptaron fácilmente los ubiquistas que creían tener la mayoría de votos. Hubo protestas y acusaciones de fraude, y hasta se esperaba que los ubiquistas tomaran el poder por medio de las armas, pero al parecer el General Ubico no aprobó las medidas de hecho” (page 39).

Dosal 1995: “(Ubico) campaigned against Chacón as the candidate of the Liberal Progressive party, an organization he founded to promote his own political career and capture the reformist sentiments of the era...Ubico lost a rigged election and returned to private life, confident that his political opportunity would come soon” (page 64).

González Davison 1987: “Con el auxilio de la maquinaria oficial, Chacón ‘gana’ las elecciones (287,412) votos frente a Ubico (36,940). La maquinaria altamente centralizada del proceso eleccionario estuvo bajo el control absoluto del Ejecutivo” (page 55).

García Laguardia 1988: “En la plataforma electoral del nuevo presidente, el general Lázaro Chacón, se incluía la reforma constitucional” (page 577).

Jiménez 1981: “El 18 de diciembre de 1926, después de efectuadas las elecciones y recibir la mayoría del voto popular [Chacón] fue confirmado en el poder. En las elecciones figuró como candidato del Partido Liberal, siendo uno de sus contrincantes Jorge Ubico Castañeda” (page 204).

Pitti 1975: “The election of 1926” (pages 235-242). “Chacón won over eighty percent of the tallies and defeated Ubico by a quarter of a million votes” (page 239).

Schlewitz 1999: “(T)he ‘progresistas’ did manage to win some seats in the National Assembly” (page 66).

Taplin 1972: Chacón is elected president December 5, 1926 (page 89).

1927

Ebel 1998: Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes is asked by President Chacón “to assume the post of governor and ‘comandante de armas’ in the sparsely settled, frontier department of El Petén” (page 5).

May

Adams 1996: “(E)n los decretos emitidos por el Presidente Lázaro Chacón en 1927…se ordenaba que en las municipalidades donde la mayoría de la población era indígena, se nombrara a ladinos para desempeñar los principales cargos. Se argumentaba que en dichas comunidades las autoridades indígenas intencionalmente impedirían la rápida marcha de la civilización, es decir, la ladinización” (page 174).

Barrios 1998: “En 1927 se emitió un acuerdo que ordenaba a todas las municipalidades indígenas convertirse en mixtas, aunque la población ladina en los pueblos fuese minoritaria” (page 7).

Kitchen 1955: “An attempt to overcome Indian domination of…towns was made in the presidential decree of 31 May, 1927, which declared that ‘to promote the progress of these towns it is necessary and right that the ‘ladino’ minorities should have representation in the governmental body’” (page 48).

June

Jiménez 1981: “Convocó a la Asamblea Constituyente para asentar en la Constitución, la prohibición terminante a efecto de evitar la reelección en la presidencia de la República” (page 205).

Pitti 1975: “In mid-June, [Chacón] placed thirty-three senior officers on the official slate of candidates for the Constitutional Convention. Although the civilian leaders of the Liberal faction also appeared on the official list, the large contingent of generals and colonels indicated the President’s resolve to dominate the Assembly” (page 269).

Taracena Arriola 1994: “El presidente se vio obligado a convocar la elección de una nueva Asamblea con el objeto de reforzar el principio de no-reelección y el veto al derecho de voto de los militares decretado en 1921" (page 234).

July

García Laguardia 1988: “(L)a constituyente se reunió en julio…Los partidos, el derrotado en las anteriores elecciones como el triunfador, presentaron proyectos y varias instituciones y personalidades se manifestaron sobre el problema” (page 577). “La propuesta de los cafetaleros para establecer el trabajo obligatorio y prohibir la vagancia…[fue aceptada], no así la de reducción a propiedad particular de las tierras comunales” (page 579).

1928

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “En 1928, vísperas de la Depresión, esta sumido el país en una grave crisis financiera, con problemas laborales y descontento de los sectores medios” (page 66).

Schlewitz 1999: “By 1928, landlord elites had grown tired of the rank government corruption, the unchecked expansion of US businesses, and growing labor movement, and began plotting Chacón’s removal” (page 66).

1929

Dunkerley 1992: “(T)he presence of large U.S. companies controlling a strategically vital banana enclave was unexceptional in regional terms. Yet nowhere else was the enclave both controlled by a single enterprise, the United Fruit Company (UFCO), and inserted into a buoyant coffee economy over which it could exercise considerable influence by virtue of an effective monopoly of rail transport. Hence, although in 1929 coffee accounted for 77 percent of the export revenue and bananas only 13 percent, the profile of UFCO within the economy was particularly high and the object of discontent amongst an appreciable local bourgeoisie” (pages 301-302). “Significantly, Guatemala alone in Central America lacked a Communist organization at the end of the 1920s, and its urban trade unions were exceptionally weak” (page 303).

January

Dosal 1993: “A military rebellion on January 17, 1929, interrupted the political process and demonstrated the danger of identifying too closely with the fruit company. Dissident colonels led approximately three thousand troops against Chacón’s corrupt government… In the repression that followed the aborted coup, Chacón attacked all his political opponents, including the increasingly powerful Ubiquistas within his own party” (page 169).

Summer

Dosal 1993: “In the summer of 1929 popular discontent over the deteriorating economy was evident in the press, the annual May Day celebrations, another strike of the stevedores of Puerto Barrios, and demands for a special legislative session to draft a reform package that included amendments to the electoral process” (page 171).

September

Dosal 1993: “On September 12, Chacón responded to the political challenge by suspending the constitutional guarantees of free speech, assembly, and the press on the grounds that demands for a special legislative session promoted sedition” (page 171).

December: congressional election

Dosal 1993: Elections are held in December 1929 for one-half of the legislature (page 171).

1930

Berger 1986: “The year 1930 was…one of the worst economic years in Guatemalan history” (page 46). Gives details. “As a result of the deteriorating economic situation and the government’s inefficient and corrupt manner of dealing with it, almost every sector of society became dissatisfied” (page 48).

Dunkerley 1992: “(A)t least 65 percent of the population of 1.8 million in 1930” [is indigenous]...This Indian population was split into some two dozen ethnic groups, but it possessed powerful communitarian traditions that always coexisted uneasily with—and sometimes openly challenged—the minority ‘ladino’ population of all classes that upheld the Hispanic state” (page 302).

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “By the waning years of the decade [1920s]…the symbiotic relationship between the [Protestant] missions and the national government began to fray…The government adopted increasingly nationalistic rhetoric, some directed toward the missions, which were easy political targets because of their strong foreign connection and their overall marginality in Guatemalan society” (page 68).

February

Pitti 1975: “In February 1930, the United Fruit Company resubmitted their request to Chacón that the company be allowed to construct a port on the Pacific” (pages 386-387).

March

Dosal 1993: “The assembly that convened in March 1930 contained thirty-nine new deputies, thirty-three of them nominally Chacón supporters” (page 171).

April 12

Jiménez 1981: Chacón’s family asks that family friend and second designate Baudilio Palma be named interim president with hopes that he will keep the government out of the hands of Ubico and his Partido Liberal Ubiquista (page 210).

November

Dosal 1993: “By November 1930, Chacón faced an increasingly vocal political opposition centered on General Jorge Ubico, a man with a reputation for brutal yet honest efficiency…As jefe político of Alta Verapaz (1907-1909) and Retalhuleu (1911-1919), he displayed the organization skills and obsession with law and order that won him the praise of American diplomats and the Liberal establishment…As Chacón’s political standing plummeted, Ubico’s political star rose, for the public viewed the president’s obsequious behavior toward United Fruit as sure evidence of his dishonesty” (pages 173-174).

Pitti 1975: “By mid-November, the legislature still had not approved the contract, and United Fruit, exasperated by the continual delays, attempted to persuade Washington to intervene obliquely on the company’s behalf. The State Department, however, refused” (page 389).

December 9

Dosal 1993: “On December 9, Chacón approved a new contract with United [Fruit Company]” (page 176).

Pitti 1975: “Although Chacón signed the contract in December,…congress did not ratify it immediately” (page 389).

December 12

Díaz Romeu 1996: “El día 12 de [diciembre], el Consejo de Ministros entregó el mando, provisionalmente, al Segundo Designado, Licenciado Baudilio Palma, con lo cual se dejó de lado al Primer Designado, General Mauro de León” (page 40).

Dosal 1993: “A stroke incapacitated Chacón just two days after he approved the contract and opened the door to Jorge Ubico, who had moved his Liberal Progressive party back to the center in an effort to regain the support of the traditional Liberal establishment. Stripped of the reformist principles associated with his 1926 presidential candidacy, Ubico became the darling of the Liberal oligarchy and American diplomats, who considered him the only man capable of resolving the crisis and restoring order” (page 176).

Jiménez 1981: Chacón resigns on December 12, 1930 with two years left of his presidential term (page 206). Palma is named president the same day (page 210).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: “Chacón es sustituido fugazmente por Baudilio Palma” (page 66).

Pitti 1975: “With the political turmoil which gripped Guatemala following Chacón’s illness, United Fruit was forced to shelve their proposal until after Ubico’s inauguration in 1931” (page 389). “Almost immediately, Chacón’s illness prompted a political crisis that was fueled by conflicting interpretations of the Constitution” (page 416). Gives details. “Notified of Chacón’s illness, the cabinet on December 12 selected Baudilio Palma, the Second Designate, as Provisional President. This transfer of power was confirmed by the National Legislative Assembly in an extraordinary session that same afternoon” (page 418). Gives more details on succession decisions.

Schlewitz 1999: “In late 1930, a stroke felled Guatemalan President, General Lazaro Chacón. The Constitution dictated that the presidency should pass to the First Designate (an appointed Vice-President), but…a succession crisis overwhelmed the constitutional terms…Pro-‘chaconistas’ in the National Assembly…[awarded] the presidency to the Second Designate, Dr Baudilio Palma…Palma’s presidency would last less than a week” (page 44).

December 16

Dosal 1993: “Chacon’s stroke presented Ubico with a political opportunity he could not miss. As civil and military leaders debated the question of a constitutional successor to their debilitated president, Orellana took command on December 16, and Ubico sought refuge in the American legation. For over ten years American diplomats had admired Ubico and considered him excellent presidential timber” (page 176).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: Palma “entregó el gobierno al General Manuel Orellana, el cual pretendió quedarse gobernando” (page 66).

Pitti 1975: “Both military and civilian Liberals identified the Provisional President with the ‘Cooperatista’ Party and believed that Palma…planned to establish a Conservative regime” (page 427). “The December 16 Revolt and Manuel Orellana” (page 431-452).

Taplin 1972: The government is overthrown December 16, 1930 by a military coup. General Manuel Orellana is named acting president by the assembly (page 89).

December 17

Díaz Romeu 1996: “La Asamblea Legislativa aceptó los hechos consumados y nombró al General Manuel Orellana, Presidente provisional, el 17 de diciembre. El Licenciado Palma fue Presidente interino únicamente cinco dias” (page 40).

Jiménez 1981: Members of the Partido Progresista visit Palma at the Mexican embassy and get him to sign his resignation on December 17, 1930 (page 213). “Washington adversó el cuartelazo y con él la llegada del general Manuel Orellana al poder, habiendo llegado el embajador de aquella nación Sheldon Whitehouse a manifestarle a Orellana lo siguiente: ‘Washington no tratar con su gobierno’” (page 218).

December 29

Dosal 1993: U.S. “Secretary of State Henry Stimson publicly denounced Orellana as an unconstitutional leader and demanded his removal. Realizing that the Americans would not recognize his government, Orellana resigned on December 29, paving the way for Ubico to assume the presidency. The entire affair may have been orchestrated by the Ubiquistas and the United Fruit Company, with American diplomats as unwitting accomplices” (page 176).

December 31

Díaz Romeu 1996: “En una sesión celebrada el 31 de diciembre de [1930], la Asamblea Legislativa aceptó la renuncia del Presidente Chacón…y también la renuncia de Orellana. Se nombraron como designados, del primero al tercero, al Licenciado José María Reina Andrade, al General José Reyes y al General Rodrigo Solórzano. El Licenciado Reina Andrade asumió la presidencia interina para convocar a unas elecciones” (page 41).

Dosal 1993: “José María Reina Andrade became provisional president on December 31, and the United States recognized the government a week later” (page 177).

Jiménez 1981: “El 31 de diciembre de 1930 el Congreso Nacional nombró al licenciado José María Reina Andrade, primer designado a la Presidencia” (page 224).

1931

Berger 1986: “In 1931, the most valuable part of the existing transportation network was the railroad which was owned and operated by the International Railways of Central America (IRCA), an affiliate of the United Fruit Company, for its own benefit” (page 100).

Grieb 1996: “Ubico surgió como candidato único a la presidencia durante la crisis de 1930, y después de varias revueltas y cambios en el gobierno. El Partido Liberal Progresista, que lo propuso, era el grupo político mejor organizado de la nación y, por lo tanto, apoyó el llamado a elecciones” (page 43).

January

Berger 1986: “The sole purpose of the Reina Andrade regime was to call presidential elections for February 6-8, 1931. Two wings of the formerly divided Liberal Party united under the name the Liberal Progressive Party and launched the candidacy of General Jorge Ubico. No other party offered a candidate in the election: one sector of the old Liberal Party refused to join the Liberal Progressive Party, but offered no objection to Ubico’s candidacy and the Conservative Party was too disorganized and discredited from the Chacón years to put up a separate candidate” (pages 50-51).

Dosal 1993: “Reina Andrade scheduled elections for February 6 to 8, granting Ubico and his well-organized political machine a substantial advantage over his opponents, and set the new president’s inauguration for February 14, a month ahead of standard procedure” (page 177).

Pitti 1975: “With Reina Andrade’s installation as Provisional President on January 2, 1931, elections could legally be called” (page 458). “(O)nce the election dates were announced, the Cooperatistas and the Conservatives had no choice but to admit that they did not have sufficient time to launch an effective campaign. Similarly, the Independent Liberals…did not nominate a candidate. Nevertheless, the Independents refused to join the coalition of Liberals and Progresistas which formally established on January 7, 1931, a new party: the ‘Partido Liberal Progresista’ (PLP)” (page 459).

February 6-8: presidential election (Ubico Castañeda / PLP)

Calvert 1985: “An unsuccessful candidate in 1922 and 1926, (Ubico) was already head of an organized party...Since no other candidate came forward to oppose him his election was a formality” (page 70).

Campang Chang 1992: “En cuanto a Ubico, se reporta que ganó las elecciones de 1931 con 308,334 votos, y ninguno en contra” (page 10).

Dosal 1995: “After a chaotic month in which two coups threatened to deny Ubico the presidency once again, Ubico triumphed in an uncontested election, winning the presidency by a vote of 305,841 votes to none. Ubico quickly consolidated a regime that lasted until 1944” (page 65).

Dunkerley 1992: “(W)hen Ubico was elected unopposed early in 1931, he was readily able to revive a longstanding dictatorial tradition rooted in a social system divided by race and an economy based largely on coerced labor” (page 304).

González Davison 1987: “La oposición de otros grupos oligárquicos queda en suspenso, por falta de tiempo, y Ubico queda como candidato único, y gana las elecciones con más de 300 mil votos” (page 66).

Grieb 1996: “Elegido con 305, 841 votos,…[Ubico] fue candidato único, y contó en su campaña con el apoyo de la prensa nacional. Algunos observadores extranjeros opinaron que los comicios habían sido realizados, en general, limpiamente, y los consideraron, por lo tanto, como una muestra irrefutable de la voluntad popular” (page 43).

Holden 2004: “General Ubico won an uncontested election for president in 1931. The godson of General Barrios, Ubico [had] served Estrada Cabrera as a ‘jefe político’ and ‘comandante de armas’ or regional military chief” (page 55).

Jiménez 1981: “Llevadas a cabo las elecciones los días 6, 7 y 8 de febrero de 1931, salió como era de esperarse, con mayoría de votos el general Jorge Ubico Castañeda” (page 226).

Jones 1966: President elected by a “large majority” (page 70); gives total votes received, “none were reported in opposition” (page 106).

Leonard 1998: Jorge Ubico “captured the presidency in the uncontested 1931 election and thereafter extended his presidency through constitutional manipulation” (page 95).

Montenegro Ríos 2002: Las elecciones “se encontraban resueltas por el nombramiento que realizó el gobierno norteamericano, por medio de Henry L. Stimson, quien señaló como nuevo Presidente de la República al General Jorge Ubico” (page 66). “(L)a dictadura trató de limitar de una manera drástica cualquier movimiento reivindicativo que tendiera al mejoramiento de las condiciones de vida de la población, situación que limitó el ascenso social de sectores medios” (page 67).

Schlewitz 1999: “Amid the Great Depression, General Jorge Ubico y Castañeda, with the backing of the US government, won a carefully engineered presidential election” (page 59). “Jorge Ubico was born in 1878 to a wealthy, landowning family, connected by blood to several elite families…Steeped in elite Liberalism from birth, Jorge Ubico would become a strong advocate of anti-clerical, activist government…He also became an enemy of Conservatives—isolationist elites who wanted a minimal state, with rural order left in the hands of landlords and the Church—and of communists, that is, anyone making the slightest noise about labor or political rights” (page 60). “Ubico received a unanimous vote—305,841 in favor, 0 against—an unbelievable, but not surprising margin, given that the US government had made it clear that it wanted Ubico in the presidency” (page 68).

February 14

Adams 1970: “An important feature of the Ubico period is that it instituted important changes over previous regimes in the direction of greater nationalization and increasing central government control. Prior to Ubico’s government, there had been ‘elections’ in Guatemala. Mayors were elected, but through the brashest kind of plebiscite...[Ubico] did two things that were specifically designed to shift the locus of power that had generally rested locally and regionally in the hands of the local upper class and bring it into more direct control from the center. One of these was to eliminate local elections and institute the ‘intendente’ system” (page 175). “The ‘intendente’ replaced the alcalde. Instead of having a local alcalde, chosen by the local upper class and therefore representative of their interests, Ubico appointed ‘intendentes’ whom he sent (usually from other areas of the country) into the towns to act as mayors” (page 176). “The Ubico period in Guatemala was the formative period during which the power of the regional caciques, the local upper class, and the local farmers lost its regional autonomy and became firmly dependent upon Guatemala City” (page 179).

Berger 1986: “President Jorge Ubico inherited a political oligarchy: political power was centralized into the hands of the executive branch although local landlords held inordinate regional influence; high-ranking policy makers were generally from the landholding class and acted in that class’s interests; and popular sectors were controlled by the state with paternalism, and to a lesser extent, with repression and cooptation. The Ubico government retained this system, but greatly expanded the centralization of political power. The power of regional landlords, local governments, the legislature, judiciary, and the cabinet were all restricted by President Ubico” (pages 43-44). “General Jorge Ubico took office on February 14, 1931 and immediately proved himself a strong leader. He consolidated his power position, restricted the power of both the Legislature and Cabinet, and brought local government under his personal supervision” (page 52). “(T)he Ubico regime restructured local government in order to bring hitherto independent rural municipalities under the control of national policy actions. Thus, prior to 1931, local governments in Guatemala were appointed by local elections and a complicated religious tradition which ensured that elder males took turns holding various civil-religious posts. Between 1931-1944, however, while several local posts continued to be appointed by religious tradition, all these posts were dominated by a mayor or ‘intendente’ who was appointed directly by President Ubico” (page 52). “Prior to 1931, governors, conventionally appointed by the President of the Republic, remained for years in one particular area. Through bribery, these governors became the pawns of specific landlords in the area…President Ubico changed this. While Ubico continued to appoint governors personally, he weakened the close governor/landlord relationship with periodic shake-ups which abruptly reappointed governors to different departments…This frequent movement ensured that the central government, not local landlords, was the focal point of local politics” (page 63). “During the Ubico government…all congressmen were affiliated [with] Ubico’s Liberal Progressive Party. In the first years of the Ubico regime, opposition parties unsuccessfully tried to secure legislative seats. As time wore on, however, these parties stopped posting candidates in the elections, so sure was everyone that Ubico’s candidates would win” (page 64). “President Ubico was very conscious of limiting the role by the Legislature in his government. He held that the Legislature should support the executive branch, not act as a separate power” (page 65).

Cullather 1999: “When the coffee market collapsed in 1930, ‘ladinos’ needed a strong leader to prevent restive, unemployed laborers from gaining an upper hand, and they chose a ruthless, efficient provincial governor, Jorge Ubico, to lead the country. Ubico suppressed dissent, legalized the killing of Indians by landlords, enlarged the Army, and organized a personal gestapo. Generals presided over provincial governments…Ubico regarded the ‘ladino’ elite with contempt, reserving his admiration for American investors who found in Guatemala a congenial business climate…The Boston-based United Fruit Company became one of his closest allies. Its huge banana estates at Tiquisate and Bananera occupied hundreds of square miles and employed as many as 40,000 Guatemalans. These lands were a gift from Ubico, who allowed the company a free hand on its property…The United States Embassy approved and until the regime’s final years gave Ubico unstinting support” (pages 9-10).

Díaz Romeu 1996: “La toma de posesión de [Ubico] debía ser el 15 de marzo de 1931, pero asumió el cargo el 14 de febrero de dicho año” (page 41).

Dunkerley 1991: “The assumption of the presidency by General Jorge Ubico in February 1931 following an election in which he won over 300,000 votes against no competition began a thirteen-year regime of personalist dictatorship that both mirrored those of his regional peers...and continued Guatemala’s long-standing tradition of prolonged autocratic government” (pages 119-120). “Ubico’s rise to power was as firmly based on his support for United Fruit, the only fruit company operating in Guatemala as well as the single most important representative of U.S. interest and largest employer of waged labour, as it was on his suppression of popular discontent in the wake of the crash of 1929 when he was Minister of War” (page 121). “Although Ubico maintained the formalities of a liberal democratic system...he permitted no opposition candidates, scarcely ever convened his cabinets, and employed a formidable secret police force to invigilate not only the population at large but also the army, upon which his power ultimately depended” (page 123). “[Ubico] replaced the traditional system of indigenous mayors, who had hitherto co-existed with ‘ladino’ local authorities and received state recognition, with that of centrally appointed intendents” (page 124).

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “Ubico’s personalistic brand of liberalism was evident in his dealings with Protestant missionaries, whose benefits to the development of the country, he believed, did not outweigh their presence” (page 71).

Holden 2004: “On taking office Ubico…immediately implemented Estrada Cabrera’s main survival strategy: the outright elimination of hs political opponents, a strategy justified by what he claimed to be the imminent danger of a communist insurrection. The army’s visibility and its control of the countryside were increased, as each of Guatemala’s 22 departments was assigned a ‘comandante de armas’ who was a colonel or general, and the departments were in turn divded into a total of 228 ‘comandancias locales’” (page 56).

Leonard 1984: Under Ubico, the “unicameral chamber of deputies was a ‘rubber stamp’ congress, which met occasionally to approve decree-laws promulgated by Ubico. The national judiciary hesitated to oppose his wishes. Guatemala’s twenty-two departments, or states, were administered by a political chief (‘jefe político’) who was appointed by Ubico. This official also doubled as military commandant…Once in power, [Ubico] outlawed all political parties except his own…Several parties allegedly operated clandestinely, the most important being the Conservative, or Union, party, which represented the landowning upper class” (page 76).

Nickson 1995: “Starting in 1931, municipalities served as a branch of central government, with their executives appointed directly by the president” (page 183).

Schlewitz 1999: Ubico “banned all political parties but his own, thus allowing him to turn the National Assembly into a rubber stamp for his edicts” (page 69). “The US’s first significant involvement with the Guatemalan military began in 1931 when President Ubico requested a Northamerican military officer to direct the ‘Escuela Politécnica’” (page 312).

Weaver 1994: “Ubico replaced elections for local mayors with appointed officials, further centralizing political power in national government” (page 114).

May

Saénz Juárez 2002: “(L)a Ley Reglamentaria de Elecciones…fue sustituido por la Ley Electoral normada en el Decreto 1738 de la Asamblea Nacional Legislativa de 30 de mayo de 1931” (page 9).

June

Stanley 2000: “The controversial contract [with the United Fruit Company] was finally ratified by the Congress in June 1931, after General Jorge Ubico had been elected president—an election in which critics maintain both the U.S. government and the United Fruit Company played a role” (page 49)

1932

Yashar 1997: “Ubico ultimately suspended legislative assemblies, the last of which was held in 1932, and replaced public officials---appointed and elected--with those personally loyal to him” (page 43).

January

Alexander 1957: “As a result of the failure of the Communist-led revolt in El Salvador in January, 1932, a number of the Salvadorean Communist leaders fled to Guatemala...At the same time Ubico put an end to Communist activities in his own country” (page 353).

Grandin 2004: “In 1932, Jorge Ubico…carried out a murderous crackdown on political dissent” (page 32).

Holden 2004: “Seizing on the abortive uprising of January 1932 in neignboring El Salvador, which was widely attributed to that country’s communist party, the government carried out a series of arrests and then claimed to have saved Guatemala from a worse disaster than that of El Salvador” (page 56).

March

Ebel 1998: Ydígoras Fuentes is “despatched by his former commanding officer…, Jorge Ubico, now newly elected president of Guatemala, to be the governor of the western department of San Marcos. He would remain there for the next seven years” (page 7).

November

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “During his second year in office, Ubico defied liberal precedent by inaugurating legislation that specifically discouraged [Protestant] mission work. In November 1932, the president issued a decree that established quotas for the number of missionaries that each denomination could sponsor within the country” (page 71).

1933

Grandin 2004: “Following 1933, the Ortsgruppe held weekly meetings, celebrated Nazi holidays, and held rallies and parades ‘with impunity.’ Swastikas hung from municipal buildings” (pages 24-25).

1934

Dunkerley 1992: “In 1934, Ubico replaced debt peonage with a labor system based on a vagrancy law that made all landless and most subsistence peasants liable for plantation labor as well as unpaid work on roadbuilding, which was greatly accelerated during the 1930s” (page 303).

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “By 1934, relations between the [Protestant] missionaries and the government began to improve slightly, almost certainly because of external political considerations” (page 74). “Ubico ordered local authorities to end the casual harassment of Protestants” (page 75).

Grandin 2004: “The simultaneous growth of the state and spread of coffee capitalism caught Q’eqchi’s in a pincer movement…(A)n expanding government bureaucracy put all of its local expressions…to the task of ensuring a labor force for coffee planters…(T)he 1934 decree that mandated that all men without an ‘adequate profession’ or in legal possession of land were required to work between 100 and 150 days on a coffee finca…pushed Q’eqchi’s onto the plantation. Once there, they found themselves utterly dependent on the will and disposition of the planter” (page 26).

Grieb 1996: “La promulgación de la Ley contra la Vagancia, en 1934, fue otra demostración del interés de Ubico por los indígenas. Esta ley fue la primera transformación significativa del sistema laboral en el país desde los tiempos coloniales y cambió directamente la condición de los peones” (page 46). “(E)l gobierno se convirtió en el controlador de la mano de obra, y el poder casi absoluto del hacendado local se trasladó a la presidencia o, más bien, a las jefaturas políticas” (page 47).

Tooley 1994: “Throughout Ubico’s years, he cultivated relationships with U.S. businesses in Guatemala, particularly the powerful triumvirate of the United Fruit Company, International Railways of Central America, and the United Fruit Steamship Company” (page 28). “By the 1930s the three companies controlled forty percent of the Guatemalan economy. By 1934, the United Fruit Company possessed 550,000 acres of Guatemalan land with only 115,000 acres in cultivation” (page 29).

September

Dosal 1993: “In September 1934 the police uncovered a small cache of arms and bombs allegedly intended for use in a conspiracy to assassinate Ubico, the chief of police, and the minister of war” (page 188). “The suppression of the September 1934 plot served as a convenient pretext for Ubico to militarize his administration even further…Ubico eliminated or exiled his opponents, reorganized his military command, and appointed loyal generals as governors of the country’s twenty-two departments” (page 189).

Holden 2004: “In September 1934 the discovery of a ‘plan terrorista’…provided an opportunity for the arrest and liquidation of still more political enemies (identified as communists) and the consolidation of dictatorship” (page 56).

Schlewitz 1999: “In 1934, a group of civilians feared, correctly as it turned out, that Ubico intended to establish a dictatorship. They planned to assassinate Ubico, and drew in military allies who had lost administrative posts or commands under Ubico. They were betrayed from within, and many were executed as a result” (page 319).

1935

Adams 1972: “Prior to 1936 the principal officers were the departmental ‘jefes políticos’ (governors) who were appointed by the president and who were responsible for all the municipios in their respective department. Each municipio was under the control of an ‘alcalde’ (mayor) and a town council composed of the mayor and a number of ‘regidores’ (aldermen) and a ‘síndico’ (legal representative)…Theoretically the alcalde and the regidores were elected annually by popular vote. Actually the system…involved a list prepared by the retiring alcalde, approved by the jefe politico, and then presented as the single slate to the voters for their ‘approval’” (page 4). Describes other variants on this system. In 1935 Ubico “introduced the ‘intendente’ system, basically similar to the previous one except that the elected alcalde was replaced by the appointed intendente. The intendente was named by the chief executive on the recommendation of the jefe politico. The town council continued to be elected on a single slate. Ubico required that the intendentes be literate, and preferred that they be Ladinos from some other area and thus unable to show favoritism for their friends” (page 4).

Adams 1996: “En 1935, Ubico introdujo la Ley de Municipalidades, con el propósito de centralizar el manejo del gobierno en el palacio presidencial. Tradicionalmente, el gobierno municipal descansaba en un procedimiento de elecciones, por medio de las cuales, aquellos que detentaban el poder local (generalmente ladinos, pero algunas veces los indios) decidían quiénes ocuparían ciertos puestos, y la población obedientemente votaba por la planilla prearreglada…La solución escogida por el dictador consistió en abolir el cargo de Alcalde electo y reemplazarlo por el de Intendente, cuyo titular generalmente fue un ladino y a veces oficial del ejército” (page 192).

Dosal 1993: “Following the aborted conspiracy, Ubico carefully orchestrated his reelection. Since the constitution barred a president from succeeding himself, Ubico had the constitution amended, ostensibly because the people demanded his services for another six years” (page 189).

Electoral observation in Guatemala, 1999 2001: “In 1935 illiterate males 18 years of age who had an occupation were enfranchised” (page 11).

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “Catholic Action first came to Guatemala in 1935” (page 104).

Grieb 1996: “(E)n 1934 y 1935 se desplegó por todo el país una campaña para impulsar la reelección del mandatario, la que evidentemente tenía todos los visos de estar organizada por el propio gobierno. Bajo el pretexto de un supuesto complot contra el régimen, algunos miembros del partido oficial, que lo eran también de la Asamblea Legislativa, en 1935 sugirieron algunas enmiendas a la Constitución…Todos los diputados de la Asamblea, que deberían enmendar la Constitución, eran miembros del gobernante Partido Liberal Progresista” (page 54).

Puente Alcaraz 2000: “En 1935 se emite el Decreto 1702, ‘Nueva Ley Municipal de la República’ que fundamentalmente niega el derecho a la población de elegir sus representantes y convierte a la Junta Municipal en una mera fachada del poder central” (page 255).

Rodríguez de Ita 2003: “(E)n la reforma de 1935 a la Constitución Política de 1879, el Artículo 66 fue alterado para dar un reconocimiento a los partidos, pero en forma negativa, ya que, sin revocar el derecho de asociación, prohibió abiertamente el funcionamiento de los mismos al considerar que atentaban contra el sistema democrático liberal” (page 86).

Schlewitz 1999: “A half-year after crushing the incipient rebellion (and having killed his potential civilian rivals), Ubico convened a Constitutional Assembly with the mandate to amend the Constitution so as to permit him to remain in office until 1943” (page 84).

Villanueva 1994: “A partir de 1935 también pueden votar los analfabetos mayores de 18 años que tengan un oficio” (pages 123-124).

Yashar 1997: “At the local level, [Ubico] similarly undermined municipal powers with the 1935 Municipal Law, which replaced elected local officials with those appointed by the central government” (page 44).

May: referendum

Campang Chang 1992: “El 25 de mayo de 1935, se hizo la consulta de opinión de los habitantes, sin excepción de sexos ni nacionalidades, sobre la conveniencia de que Ubico siguiera gobernando por seis años más. Según la versión oficial, los votos afirmativos eran 834,168 votos; y sólo fueron 1,227 votos negativos. Como consecuencia, se extendió su período hasta el 15 de marzo de 1943" (page 11).

Dosal 1993: “When Ubico put the question to the voters in a yes-no format in mid-June 1935, only 1,227 brave souls voted not to amend the constitution to permit Ubico’s reelection to a term ending in 1943” (page 189).

Grieb 1996: “El plebiscito se efectuó legalmente, aunque se exigió de los votantes que firmaran las papeletas con el sí o el no a favor o en contra de la ‘suspensión’ de la cláusula constitucional que prohibía la reelección del Presidente. La enmienda se aprobó en forma abrumadora, por 834,168 votos a favor y solamente 1,227 en contra…Los observadores diplomáticos estuvieron de acuerdo en que el voto representaba la voluntad popular, aunque reconocían que el recuento oficial pudo haber exagerado los resultados” (page 54).

Rodríguez de Ita 2003: “En 1935 tuvo lugar un plebiscito para que la población aprobara la reelección del mandatario; en la consulta se pidió a los votantes que firmaran las papeletas, donde expresaban su acuerdo o desacuerdo con que se modificara la clásula constitucional relativa a la reelección del presidente. Este procedimiento, como es evidente, se prestó al control del sufragante, la propuesta se aprobó por 834 168 votos a favor y 1 227 en contra; de acuerdo con lo señalado por un estudio, los observadores extranjeros esta vez pusieron en tela de juicio el recuento oficial” (pages 187-188).

Yashar 1997: “Ubico’s showcase elections became a transparent effort to legitimate his dictatorial rule. On one occasion, in 1935, he engineered a constitutional reform in order to overcome limitations on serving two consecutive terms in office. The legislature received thousands of allegedly spontaneous petitions from 246 municipalities. These identically worded petitions called for a constitutional amendment to extend Ubico’s term in office. Ubico therefore called for a national referendum on whether he should remain in office despite the constitutional article preventing reelection. The official results reported a near 100 percent popular mandate to suspend the constitutional article and allowed Ubico to serve an additional six-year term” (page 42).

July

Taplin 1972: Ubico’s presidential term was extended to March 15, 1943 by a constituent assembly on July 10, 1935 (page 90).

Thesing 1976: “Ubico no quere que se limite su período presidencial. Sus planes son aceptados el 11 de julio de 1935. Para evitar las limitaciones establecidas por la Constitución del 20 de diciembre de 1927, realiza un plebiscito del 22 al 24 de julio de 1935 que le permite prolongar su período hasta el 15 de marzo de 1943” (page 13).

1936

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “Ubico launched a carefully balanced program of maintaining indigenous community autonomy…and pulling political and economic power toward his own vortex of power…One of the most important steps in this process included the preemption of local ‘alcaldes’ (mayors) with ‘intendentes’ (managers) who answered to the president alone. The impact of this change was immediate and reverberating, for it challenged the traditional patterns of authority and power that governed many indigenous communities by introducing new contenders for power and eroding the authority of the civil-religious hierarchy” (page 73).

Grandin 2004: “(T)he authority to elect mayors [is] taken away in 1936 with the institution of state-appointed municipal administrators” (page 38).

1937

April

Electoral observation in Guatemala, 1999 2001: “In 1937 the [electoral] rules contained in the regulations of 1887 were reestablished” (page 11). “(T)he Electoral Law of 1937 introduced, among other restrictions, the principle whereby ‘caudillos’ or leaders of a coup d’état, revolution, or any other armed insurrection, including their relatives, were barred from election to the presidency” (page 11).

Thesing 1976: “La Ley Electoral del 22 de abril de 1937 establece un número de 76 diputados para el Congreso y de 90 para la Constituyente…La votación es pública y directa” (page 14). Gives additional details.

1939

April

Frankel 1969: “When Mariano Rossell Arellano was consecrated as the first native archbishop of Guatemala in April, 1939, Jorge Ubico had been running the country for almost a decade…During the remaing five years of Ubico’s administration, the hierarchy refrained rather carefully from taking an overt position on any political issue likely to antagonize the president” (page 177).

September

Henn 1996: “Al estallar la guerra el 1o de septiembre de 1939, Guatemala declaró su neutralidad el 6 de ese mes. El Presidente Ubico tenía evidentes simpatías por las dictaduras nazi-fascistas de Europa, pero siguió los dictados de Estados Unidos, que le había ayudado a acceder al poder en 1931” (page 279).

1940

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “(T)he Guatemalan government falsified the census figures for 1940, which reported that Indians made up less than half the population, although they actually made up close to two thirds” (page 73).

1941

Grieb 1996: “El distanciamiento de la clase media se profundizó aún más con motivo de la campaña de 1941, que culminó en la reelección del gobernante para un nuevo período presidencial. Como había sucedido en 1934 y 1935, el partido oficial orquestó un movimiento dirigido a pedir a Ubico que aceptara continuar en el poder hasta 1949, y la Asamblea Legislativa votó, en efecto, a favor de enmendar la Constitución para que ello fuera posible. Sin embargo, esta vez ni siquiera se intentó someter el punto a un plebiscito” (page 58).

Holden 2004: “In 1941, the [U.S.] War Department chose Guatemala as the site of two of the twenty-five Latin American airfields that would have to be built…for use…in the air defense of the hemisphere…By then, the U.S. government had already begun training Guatemalan officers outside the country” (page 135).

Rodríguez de Ita 2003: “En 1941, para mantenerse en el poder, Ubico recurrió a un nuevo plebiscito que resultó menos exitoso que el anterior” (page 188).

June

García Laguardia 1980: “En 1971, antes de que concluyera la prórroga aprobada, se inició un movimiento por el partido oficial, el Liberal Progresista, para ampliar de nuevo en otros seis años, el mandato del dictador. En convención del partido, el 30 de junio, se acordó solicitar a la asamblea legislativa se iniciara el procedimiento de reforma para documentar legalmente el proyecto” (page 582).

September

Leonard 1984: “Despite the government’s repressive measures, active opposition began to surface in 1941, when university students cheered the only member of the national assembly voting against the extension of Ubico’s term. Subsequently, many of them, picking the name ‘Esquilaches,’ organized a plot against the government” (page 76). Lists the names of the leaders.

Parker 1981: “A constitutional congress in 1941 stretched [Ubico’s term] six years longer, terminating in 1949" (page 97).

Taplin 1972: A constituent assembly on September 11, 1941 “re-elected Ubico to the 1943-1949 term” (page 90).

December

Thesing 1976: “De nuevo se prolonga su período el 12 de diciembre de 1941 hasta el 15 de marzo de 1949” (page 13).

1942

Berger 1986: “In 1942, Guatemala joined the Allied camp and declared war on Germany” (page 126). “(A)fter entering the war, the United States government demanded that the Guatemalan government confiscate all German national landholdings. At the time, 130 of all coffee plantations were owned by Germans…The Ubico regime stalled at first and tried to negotiate an alternative action since German landholders had been one of the main supporters of the regime. Finally, however, the Ubico government prepared to take over the plantations. The move cost the regime one of its most important allies” (pages 127-128).

Gleijeses 1991: “At Washington’s behest, Ubico moved against the German community in Guatemala…This small but economically influential group had supported the dictator loyally…Following Guatemala’s declaration of war on Germany, Ubico allowed the FBI to deport several hundred German citizens and Guatemalans of German origin to the United States” (page 20).

1943

Cambranes 1985: “In 1943, all German property was confiscated and thousands of ‘caballerías’ belonging to hundreds of lucrative coffee farms, sugar plantations and cattle ranches established by German nationals were passed into the hands of the State or of high officials who later backed the bourgeoisie which virtually controlled the State” (page 88).

Garrard-Burnett 1998: “In Guatemala, the vanguard action of Catholic Action came with the entry of two priests of the Maryknoll Order…in 1943…The Catholic Church was in no way prepared for the bitter resistance Catholic Action encountered in indigenous communities in the 1940s and the 1950s” (page 105).

Schlewitz 1999: “(T)he US government [pressed] Ubico to take measures against the [Guatemalan] German population. Ubico agreed with some reluctance, and over the years 1942-43, the Guatemalan government closed down German clubs and schools, repatriated 333 Germans, and deported 278 to the US, confiscating their land and other assets” (page 193).