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hijos de una misma historia"
Alfonso Bauer Paiz (“Poncho”) was born in Guatemala City on 29th April 1918 to the Salvadoran journalist Carlos Bauer Avilés and the Guatemalan, Abigail Paiz. He graduated from the Faculty of Legal and Social Sciences of the National University, where he obtained the title of lawyer and notary.
He was 26 years old at the time of the Revolution in October 1944, which ushered in the period known as the ‘ten years of spring’ and he participated actively, being a delegate in the National Congress in those early years.
During those ten years, he held a number of posts in the governments of first, Juan José Arévalo and then, Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán. After the CIA-led coup in 1954, he went into exile in Mexico.
Three years later, he returned clandestinely to Guatemala and later started teaching in the Faculties of Legal and Social Sciences and then in that of Economic Sciences of USAC (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala).
Being a member of the University Superior Council he was named as part of a Commission which studied, and then denounced, illegal nickel concessions offered by the then government of Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio. Due to this, the government decided to eliminate the members of the Commission and, in November 1970, Poncho was the victim of an armed attack. After five months in the IGSS public hospital he left again for exile. The other members of the Commission had been assassinated.
In May 1971, he went to Chile but left there after the overthrow of Salvador Allende in 1973. From then until 1980, Poncho lived in Cuba working with, among others, the Ministry of Justice. Between 1981 and 1988, he worked as a government advisor in the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and, in 1988, we went to Mexico (Quintana Roo and Soconusco) to work with Guatemalan refugees that had fled the armed conflict.
Poncho returned fully to Guatemala in 1995 where he continued his struggle for the Guatemalan people.
In April of this year, he suffered a stroke and was hospitalised in the same IGSS hospital but, after complications brought on by pneumonia, Alfonso Bauer Paiz (Poncho) died on the 10th July, aged 93.
The above photograph comes from MiMundo and James Rodríguez does a great piece on the life and death of a great Guatemalan. This piece also contains the link to the fine film made by Uli Stelzner about the life and times of Poncho.