Miguel Angel Asturias was born in Guatemala City in 1899. He received his law degree from the University of San Carlos of Guatemala. After finishing at the University, Asturias and a few colleagues founded the Popular University of Guatemala for those who could not afford to attend the national university. In 1923 he went to Paris where he wrote El Señor Presidente. Due to it’s political implications he was unable to bring the book with him in 1933 when he returned to Guatemala. At that time the dictator Jorge Ubico ruled Guatemala. The original version was to remain unpublished for thirteen years. In 1944, the fall of Ubico’s regime brought Professor Juan José Arévalo to presidency. Arévalo immediately appointed Asturias cultural attaché to the Guatemalan Embassy in Mexico, where the first edition of El Señor Presidente appeared in 1946. The book was later translated into english as The President in 1964. (Encarta, 2000).
The President begins with a murder of a colonel by a homeless man whom is referred to as the Zany. The police took many homeless people in for questioning to find out who caused the murder of Colonel Sonriente. The police made the homeless people say that it was General Canales and Abel Carvajal, the lawyer who committed the crime. They did this by beating them until they said that it was the two men who murdered the Colonel. One peasant, the Mosquito, insisted that the Zany committed the murdered and would not give into their beatings. The Mosquito was beaten to death because he would not give the Judge Advocate the answer that he demanded.
The President gave orders to Miguel Angel Face, the President’s confidential advisor, to help General Canales to escape. He told Miguel, also referred to as the favourite, to do this without being seen by the police. Miguel decided to get the help of Lucio Vasquez and Genaro Rodas. He did this by telling them that he was in love with Gene...
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