The History Of UTQ
Prior to the creation of UTQ, a workers front known as the Frente De Trabajadores
Del Sur Occidente (FETRASO) existed, being made up of some of the larger unions in the south western region, including the
workers union of the national brewing company, various factories, and mine workers.
FETRASO provided economic and political assistance to their union members.
As well, it provided a platform from which its members could voice their concerns on a national level.
They also organized demonstrations, with the two main ones being 1 May and
20 October each year.
The Demise of FETRASO
The wave of violence and repression that occurred in Guatemala in 1980 and
1981 lead to the ultimate demise of FETRASO. Much of this repression was aimed directly at the workers movement, including
FETRASO and its leaders, resulting in the deaths of some leaders, while others fled Guatemala, and those that remained limited
their activities to their own specific unions. This left Guatemala and more specifically Quetzaltenango and the southwest
region of Guatemala without a unified organization that represented the needs of the Guatemalan workers.
The Formation of UTQ
After the violence and repression dissipated, the belief in the possibility
of a more democratic Guatemala began to appear. There was a clear need to fight against the anti-union stance of the government
and the economically powerful private sector, where human rights violations were still a reality despite the signing of the
Peace Accords in 1996. This, coupled with the fact that there was a basic need for such an organization to be formed in Quetzaltenango,
lead to the integration of the existing unions in the region into one single organization. The Union de Trabajadores Quetzaltenango
(UTQ) was thus founded on the 26 July, 1986.