El Salvador’s populist dictator has been banning books in his own country and has now found a way to pressure a neighbouring country.
While I’ve been fighting the triple peril of the monsoon season, power cuts and school exams, publishing life goes on, even in far off (from here, anyway) Guatemala, Central America, where the Guatemala International Book Fair has been at the heart of an international censorship battle.
El Salvador is this year’s guest of honour that the aforementioned Guatemala International Book Fair, which finishes today (July 16), and which in a good year can pull in 100,000 visitors, although the organisers are saying they expect “only” 75,000 this year.
But in an unprecedented move El Salvador demanded a book by a Salvadori author not be allowed to be displayed, and that the offending author not be allowed to speak at the event.
Faced with the fairs guest of honour pulling out of the event, the Guatemala organisers opted to comply, possibly with pressure from their own government to keep neighbourly relations sweet..
The Guardian has more on the story (in English).