Montes, César (1941–)

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Montes, César (1941–)

César Montes (b. 1941) is a Guatemalan guerrilla leader. Nicknamed "El Chirís," a Mayan term meaning "kid," Montes began to rebel at the age of thirteen, when he was expelled from a Catholic school for his reaction to the overthrow of the Jacobo Arbenz government. Montes later attended law school and was imprisoned for his role in a student demonstration. At the age of twenty he became an active member of the Communist PGT (Guatemalan Labor Party) youth wing. By the time he was twenty-five, he had succeeded Luis Augusto Turcios Lima as the leader of the Rebel Armed Forces (FAR). After breaking with the PGT on 10 January 1968, the FAR declared its total and definitive unification with the 13th of November Revolutionary Movement (MR-13), led by Marco Antonio Yon Sosa (February 1968). The new group based its operations in the Sierra de las Minas. In 1972 he founded the Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP). However, due to ideological disagreements he left the Guatemalan groups and went to fight with the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FLMN) army in El Salvador. He lived there on and off until 1996, at which point he returned to Guatemala to assist in peace negotiations. He continues to live and work on behalf of the poor in Guatemala City.

See alsoGuatemala, Political Parties: Guatemalan Labor Party (PGT) .


Eduardo Galeano, Guatemala: Occupied Country (1967), esp. pp. 18-19 and 24-25.

Jim Handy, Gift of the Devil (1984), esp. p. 232.

Additional Bibliography

Aguilera Peralta, Gabriel. Realizar un imaginario: La paz en Guatemala. Guatemala: Cultura de Paz, UNESCO Guatemala, 2003.

Brett, Roderic Leslie. Movimiento social, etnicidad y democratización en Guatemala, 1985–1996. Guatemala: F&G Editores, 2006.

Brockett, Charles D. Political Movements and Violence in Central America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Zepeda López, Raúl. El espacio político en que se construye la paz. Guatemala: FLASCO Guatemala, 2004.

                                   Douglas R. Keberlein

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Montes, César (1941–)

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