Francisco Goldman comentado
Uno de los escritores más extraordinarios dentro de esa cada vez más grande -e interesante- franja de "escritores de frontera" norteamericanos es Francisco Goldman, de origen guatemalteco. Anagrama ha publicado sus novelas La larga noche de los pollos blancos y Marinero raso (y tengo entendido que este año aparecerá su tercerna novela El divino marido, en la que recrea a José Martí) y ahora The Guardian hace un comentario extenso, que bien puede servir como introducción para quien no lo conozca, a su obra a raíz de su libro de no ficción El arte del asesinato político: ¿quién mató al obispo Gerardi? (The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi?)
Dice la nota: His first non-fiction book draws him back to the aftermath of Guatemala's 36-year war, which ended in a peace agreement in 1996 and a controversial amnesty for war crimes. The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi? (published this week by Atlantic) is the result of Goldman's seven-year investigation into the killing of a Catholic priest in 1998. Juan Gerardi, a liberation theologian and human rights leader, was found bludgeoned to death in a garage in the capital, two days after publication of Guatemala: Never Again, a church-sponsored report implicating the government in the deaths of 200,000 civilians, many of them Mayan Indians. A surreal cover-up entailed the arrest of a fellow priest - thought to be homosexual - and a cook. An old German shepherd dog, improbably suspected of having mauled the bishop to death, was impounded. But Church lawyers, dubbed the Untouchables, alleged a chain of responsibility reaching up to the president. In 2001, three army officers and a priest were jailed - verdicts finally upheld in a landmark constitutional court ruling last April. Goldman's book may have had an impact on last November's presidential elections in Guatemala, when the candidate General Otto Pérez Molina, whom Goldman names as possibly implicated in the case, was defeated. The book, which explores a culture of impunity, rising narco-power and media manipulation, has drawn comparisons with Gabriel García Márquez's News of a Kidnapping (1996), as well as praise from Salman Rushdie and Richard Ford. For the fiction writer Junot Díaz, it "peels away sensational obfuscation to expose the lies, skulduggery and abuse of power in the aftermath of the proxy wars America is so good at. But it also speaks at a metaphorical level to a larger world. Frank is fearless; nothing could shake him off the track."
"I got hooked," Goldman says in his Brooklyn apartment in New York. "It was ruthless theatre. They created a fiction and got it walking, and to this day it protects them." He has taught at García Márquez's school - the Foundation for Ibero-American journalism - in Colombia and is incredulous that the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa lent support to theories debunked in the book. He witnessed an "almost Stalinist" campaign of defamation and intimidation in Guatemala. The Untouchables' lives "were destroyed - the most decent people I've ever met. It used to eat me up and infuriate me. When I see a blatant injustice, I can't keep quiet. I've been that way since I was a little kid." At least 10 potential witnesses were killed. Most shocking for Goldman was when the younger brother of the chief prosecution lawyer was found tortured and murdered in 2006. "They'd torn a leg off while he was still alive," Goldman says. "Till then, I could have invested in the narrative like a novel. But I realised it's not just a detective story about idealists, but something you're not in control of." As a prominent outsider, he felt protected, but "what really worries you is they can go after people close to you. My wife loved Guatemala, but I had to tell her: 'You'll never set foot there again.'"