• Catholic Church;
  • Guatemala;
  • memorials;
  • military;
  • postconflict landscape

ABSTRACT. Landscape interpretation, or “reading” the landscape, is one of cultural geography's standard practices. Relatively little attention, however, has been paid to reading landscapes transformed by insurgency movements or civil wars. Those landscapes can tell us a great deal about past and present political and social relationships as well as continuing power struggles. Guatemala presents a complicated postwar landscape “text” in which the struggle for power continues by many means and media, including how the war is portrayed on memorials, and in which the Catholic Church and the military/state are the two main competing powers. This essay explores some of the images and the text presented in Guatemala's postconflict landscape through contrasting landmarks and memorials associated with the country's thirty-six-year-long civil war that formally ended in 1996.