Biography of Huberto Alvarado Arellano (1927-1974)

Poet, essayist, journalist, and Guatemalan politician, born in Quezaltenango in 1927 and died on the outskirts of Guatemala City on December 20, 1974. His life - dramatically cut short by murderers of paramilitary groups - was permanently linked to the two vocations which encouraged him constantly since her teens: the politics and culture of literary creation.

His early concern about the political drift of their nation led him to get involved early in the Guatemalan revolution (1944-1954), in the course of which, despite his extreme youth, it is meant for his tireless work in the field of the Marxist left. Endorsed by the intellectual prestige that he/she acquired thanks to its literary and critical works, as well as his journalistic writings - which made him one of the debaters and polemicists more influential in the Guatemala of mid-20th-century-, described a dizzying upward trajectory in the bosom of the democratic political forces of his people. Thus, shortly after having committed to the causes of the disadvantaged, he/she was appointed Secretary General of the Alliance of the youth democratic Guatemalteca, where he/she developed a valuable work which, among other fruits, led to the Foundation of the Guatemalan party of labour, which would end up being Secretary General.

At the same time, Huberto Alvarado displayed a fruitful work as writer and cultural animator, embodied mainly in the Saker-Ti ("Dawn") group, which had been one of its founders. It was a collective of young writers encouraged by the same aesthetic and ideological criteria: condemnation of pure art, intellectual snobbery and the cerebral and subjective coldness of contemporary creators, and the defense of an art realistic and committed, worried about the vindication of democratic values and the rescue of the cultural legacies of every nation (in your case(, the Guatemalan people).

Saker-Ti, founded in 1947, soon joined the more radical members of the Group accent, another Guatemalan writers group formed by authors of the previous generation. In addition to Huberto Alvarado, the most prominent members of Saker-Ti were Rafael Sosa, Olga Martínez Torres, Migue Ángel Vásquez, José María López, Werner Ovalle, Orlando Vitola, Melvin René Barahona and Óscar Arturo Palencia. One of the leading figures of Guatemalan literature, poet, essayist and journalist Luis Cardoza (1904-1992), described the young and enthusiastic members of this group as "fresh and hungry minds'" living Virgin days ". Integration, en masse, to the Communist Party was described by Cardoza - greater than all of them - how "If you make the first communion. They had ideological consistency more Brotherhood of sect", and, for almost all of them," entering the Communist Party meant to assume a noble rejection, and with emotion of daring and surprise, touching something beyond what is forbidden, something damn ".

The grupo Saker-Ti launched an eponymous magazine in which all its components unveiled his first articles and poems. Alvarado, in his capacity of director of this publication, became one of the great promoters of the renewal of the time Guatemalan literature, to fit in his magazine - as well as in the editorial that also founded his literary group - to the most radical and innovative voices.

It became known as a poet in the course of the same year of the Foundation of Saker-Ti, with the publication of an interesting collection of verses titled shades of salt (1947). But his work as a promoter and cultural animator of the new values, to those who supported, from their status as critic, essayist and journalist, with jobs as worthy of praise as the artist anthologies and the problems of our time (1950), twelve poems (1950), poems for peace (1952) and Guatemala, your immortal name was even more outstanding. In addition, Quezaltenango writer held positions of high responsibility in the cultural policy of Guatemala, as the director of the Casa de la Cultura, and since they continued tirelessly promoting the national literature (with acts of such an impact in the intellectual life of their country as the Organization of the first Congress of writers Guatemalans).

Its presence in politics of Guatemala was constant during the progressive Governments of Juan José Arévalo (1904-1990) and Jacobo Arbenz (1913-1971), which had tried the democratization of the country - with deals of land, limitations of the economic of the United Fruit Company privileges, and other measures progressive-after the overthrow, in 1944, dictator Jorge Ubico (1878-1946). In this environment of major reforms and revolutionary changes, Huberto Alvarado young deployed an intense political activity underlined by his tireless work of cultural animator; is not surprising, therefore, that after the fall of Arbenz - ousted, 17 June 1954, invasion of exiles who, from Honduran territory, penetrated into Guatemala with logistics of the United States of America coverage-, impetuous Quezaltenango intellectual and the asset would not be forced to leave their nation, in which, as a first step by the new Governmenthad ordered the outlawing of the Communist Party and the persecution of all leading Marxists. The Group Saker-Ti was dismembered, some of their members were meanly murdered, and the greater part of them is looked at forced to exile is.

I headed into exile, Alvarado went first to Ecuador, where he/she renewed his intellectual prestige with frequent collaborations in different cultural, as Ecuador letters and notebooks of Guayas. He/She then moved to Mexico, to meet there with many exiled Guatemalan writers in Aztec territory, such as the aforementioned Cardoza, besides Carlos Illescas (1918-1998), Raúl Leiva (1916-1974) and, among others, the great short-story writer Augusto Monterroso (1921-2003).

In Mexico, Huberto Alvarado continued to give good examples of their worth as a critic and essayist, through numerous articles published in American notebooks, the national and news; (e) increased his reputation as a writer with the premiere of a splendid theatrical piece, the King Athanasius, who was awarded an honorable mention in the contest of science, arts and letters from 1959. However, the desire to return to their homeland was stronger than the sincere attentions series by Mexican intellectuals, so, at the beginning of the 1960s, Alvarado came back into his country and was devoted fully to the drafting of its most ambitious essay work: a study in depth of the Guatemalan cultural process, published under the title of exploration of Guatemala (Guatemala City(: Editions of the magazine from Guatemala, 1961).

Amid the general recognition of the Guatemalan intelligentsia, Huberto Alvarado lived in his country with relative calm until, with the new totalitarian governments of Julio César Méndez Montenegro (1915-) and Carlos Arana Osorio (1918-2003), was, respectively, persecuted and imprisoned. The international outcry raised in his defense in the progressive forums around the world led to his release, as well as its subsequent return to the Mexican exile. But in 1974, animated by vague hopes of reconciliation, he/she decided to return to his cherished Guatemala, where he/she was captured and vilely assassinated by uncontrolled members of the paramilitary gangs that ravaged the country. In the awful irrationality, his cowardly murderers tortured him until his eyes before killing him.

In addition to the works referred to in previous paragraphs, the humanist of Quezaltenango was the author of the book of travels in the new world (Guatemala City: Ed. Saker-Ti, 1952) and by a national, democratic and realistic art essays (Guatemala City: Ed. Saker-Ti, 1953) and concerns (1967). And, his most notable articles, include graduates "Thesis and hypothesis" and "Notes for the history of the party", both focused on revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist in the country-inspired his ideas and his political experience in the bosom of the PGT (Guatemalan party of labour), as well as other general concepts about theory and practice. It should be recalled, also your interesting article 'The Guatemalan reality in the work of Asturias' literary criticism, published in Revista de Guatemala (1960).


CACERES, Carlos. Presence and time. Guatemala: biographical essay on Huberto Alvarado (Mexico: printer Aurora, 1987).

PALENCIA, Óscar Arturo. "Remembrance of Huberto Alvarado", in Rev. Alero (Guatemala City), 3rd time, no. 15 (1975), pp. 11-13.

Homenaje a Raúl Leiva and Huberto Alvarado", in Rev. Alero (Guatemala City), 3rd time, nº 10 (1975), pp. 90-92.