Army Day is celebrated on 30 June in Guatemala. This is a public holiday meant to honour the Armed Forces of the nation and to especially recount the struggle to overthrow what many consider to have been an oppressive “Conservadora” regime on 30 June 1871.
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Soon after independence from Spain, Guatemala declared itself independent from neighbouring Mexico which had claimed it as part of their rightful territory. And they also soon joined the Central American Union. But discontent with that union led to the rise of a “Conservative” (Conservadora) administration led by Rafael Carrera.
Carrera took over the country in 1851 and was appointed as president for life in 1854. Carrera ruled till his death in 1865, whereupon his field marshal Vicente Cerna took the helm. But with help from President Barrios of neighbouring El Salvador and General Barrios, a successful military campaign finally overthrew the Conservadora regime.
There had been many failed uprisings for decades against the Conservadoras that had led to harsh reprisals, so when this final revolution was successful and Barrios became president of Guatemala, it was a cause for much celebration for many.
Barrios implemented a number of reforms targeted at improving the economy and went on to lead the country for over a decade.
Originally called “Revolution Day”, Army Day is the occasion of a big military parade in Guatemala City. And the holiday is kept up with great fanfare all over the country.