Girón de León, Andrés de Jesús (1946–)

views updated

Girón de León, Andrés de Jesús (1946–)

Andrés de Jesús Girón de León (b. 14 February 1946), Guatemalan priest and peasant leader. Girón was born in Santa Cruz del Quiché and was raised in the municipality of Tecpán in Chimaltenango. He received religious training at the seminary of Santiago de Guatemala and later in the United States.

Girón became an important national political figure when he founded the National Peasants' Association for Land (Asociación Nacional Campesina Pro-Tierra) in 1986. He received widespread media attention by leading 16,000 peasants on an 88-mile march from Escuintla to Guatemala City in May of 1986. His organization acquired several large landholdings for campesinos to farm cooperatively, but the movement lost membership and importance after 1989.

In 1990, Girón won a seat in Congress with support from the Christian Democrats. At the end of his four-year term, President Ramiro de Leon accused Girón of instigating a series of peasant land invasions. Girón denied these accusations and returned to his parish in Nueva Concepcíon, running for mayor in November 1995. In 2003, Girón was affiliated with the Partido Movimiento Social y Político Cambio Nacional.

See alsoCatholic Church: The Modern Period; Guatemala.


Julio Castellanos Cambranes, Agrarismo en Guatemala (Guatemala and Madrid, 1986).

Additional Bibliography

Berryman, Phillip. Stubborn Hope: Religion, Politics, and Revolution in Central America. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1994.

Perera, Victor. Unfinished Conquest: The Guatemalan Tragedy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

                                        Rachel A. May