Diary of a Guerrilla
by Ramón “Tianguis” Pérez
English translation by Dick J. Reavis
Publication Date: 1999
Vivid first-hand testimony to the guerilla movement that preceded the current revolutionary struggle in Mexico.
As a young man, Ramón Pérez aka Tianguis interrupted his studies and enlisted in a burgeoning guerrilla movement to reclaim his people to ancestral communal lands in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. As a disciple of the famed Güero Medrano, a revolutionary who put his family and his own life at mortal risk, Tianguis begins to grasp the economic and political forces that Mexico’s indigenous populations must cope with if they are ever to gain control of their lands and lives. This is the straightforward testimony of the strife to surmount those obstacles.
From the grassroots organizing conducted by the peasants to the power of regional and national politicians to enforce their social order with pistoleros – through Tianguis’ unwavering account we experience the struggle and its consequences. The pursuit of Güero Medrano—and of Tianguis and his friends—is unremitting; there is no escape as they flee through the forests, small towns, and big-city barrios of Mexico. Capture is inevitable.
Following his release as a political prisoner, Pérez crossed the border to work in the United States, an experience he recorded in his previous book, Diary of an Undocumented Immigrant.
“The character which he presents is as magnetic as any purely fictional creation that I have met.”—The Texas Review
: RAMON “TIANGUIS” PEREZ lives in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. During his travels in Mexico and the United States, Pérez has worked as everything from a laborer to a newspaper reporter. He currently supports his writing as an ambulatory photographer.Translator DICK J. REAVIS is the author of The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation and Conversations with Moctezuma.