90th anniversary of the Guna Revolution

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The Guna General Congress and the Gunayala Region, with support from the City of Knowledge Foundation, celebrated in recent days the 90th anniversary of the GunaRevolution, at the City of Knowledge Convention Center.

The celebration began with a spiritual invocation by the indigenous leader Alejandro Cirilo Pérez, who called for peace, love and equality for all peoples. During his speech, and in relation to the events of the Guna Revolution, he added, "they could never erase our lives because we are children of Mother Earth, and our weapon is our culture."

Professor Jorge Arosemena, Executive President of the City of Knowledge Foundation, gave the welcoming remarks by stating that it represents a great honor and pleasure for the FCDS team to host two days of work, reflection and celebration. For Prof. Arosemena "the Dule Revolution was an act of reaffirmation and this deserves to be celebrated. The Guna people are an example of commitment to their traditions, their vision and their struggle for autonomy".

For his part the Sagla Dummad, Maximiliano Iguayoikiler Ferrer, thanked all those who have struggled to strengthen the ideals of the Guna people and its great leaders. He added, "all the Guna people are celebrating a historic day of great importance in which we fought to keep our identity."

There were several great lectures during the event such as the one by Professor Elmer González, who spoke about the historical memory of the people, Guna leadership characteristics and the suffering that led to the revolution. Meanwhile Rafael Bandeira, Ambassador of Bolivia, shared his experiences before and after the constitutional process in the Plurinational State of Bolivia. In addition, Atilio Martínez and Phil Lane Jr., talked about important figures and leaders of the Guna Revolution.

Besides its great lectures, the event featured roundtables, artistic expressions, an art and crafts fair, theater, cultural and sporting activities, plus various activities with the participation of international guests who came to the City of Knowledge to celebrate with the Guna people a historic occasion.

About the Guna Revolution

In the 1920s, two decades after Panama had separated from Colombia, the new republic had established the objective of integrating the Guna population to the "national life". To do this, the capital employed tactics that were used to divide indigenous communities and undermine the authority of their leaders. Given this situation, in February 1925, several Gunayala communities rose against the Colonial Police in what has gone down in history as the Guna Revolution. Shortly after, a peace agreement was signed by which the government compromised to respect the customs and traditions of the gunas, while the rebels agreed to accept Panama's sovereignty and respect indigenous people who decided to adopt Panamanian customs. The Guna people's resistance to acculturation and external submission has allowed them to reach the 21st century as one of the indigenous territories in the world with more autonomy.