Professor Ballbé and the perplexity of the quetzal

An approach to peace building in Guatemala in memory of Manuel Ballbé


  • Manuel Montobbio Comité Asesor Cátedra Manuel Ballbé UAB


Peace has its great designs, and it has its concrete projects. It is built with negotiation, and it is built with cooperation. Departing from the account of the gestation, within the framework of Spain's contribution to the execution of the Peace Agreements in Guatemala, of the Spanish Cooperation project for the creation of the doctorate in Law in Guatemala carried out by the Authonomous University of Barcelona and the foundational and fundamental implication of Professor Manuel Ballbé in it, the author offers us in perspective, from his diplomatic and academic trajectory of dedication to the Guatemalan process and to the peace processes in Central America,  his reflections on the construction of peace in Guatemala and its lessons, in an exercise of memory for hope, for the construction of peace in general and the making of History in Guatemala.

It would be difficult to conceive a more beautiful film for Guatemala than the one written in the script of the Peace Agreements. The distance between paper and reality submerges the quetzal in perplexity, the paradox that the perfection of the content of the agreements – their incarnation of positive peace and contemplation of the roots of the conflict, of the problem of building peace in Guatemala in its ultimate sense – constitutes at the same time the reason for the weakness of its execution. And it fires at us its questions, which the author tries to answer.


Guatemala, construction of peace, professor Manuel Ballbé, Guatemala's peace process, peace and development cooperation, political theory and ideas


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