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Transcript of Guatemala genocide
1968-1996 Cause: There was heavy racism in Guatemala
towards the Mayan civilization from
Spanish explorers that had taken over. In the 19th century, a dictator introduced coffee
fields to Guatemala. He heavily encouraged his citizens
to grow the crop. Americans were soon interested in
investing due to the success. In 1944 the dictator was overthrown and was replaced. The new dictator dropped interest in the crop and wanted to take away the lands that were used. American investors were enraged by this and wanted to put a stop to this change. America trained Guatemalan exiles and launched
an invasion to bring down the government.
Thousands died during this encounter. New policies
following this led to a 35 year civil war . Armed resistance
groups arose during the war, leading to the beginning of the genocide. The Genocide The Guatemalan government used its own army to "suppress" the Mayan Indians. They claimed that the Mayans were forming a communist group. The blunt of the killings occuredd in a two year period under the rule of dictator Efrain Rios Montt. Mont and his soldiers- or "killing machines" as they referred to themselves, marched through Mayan communities killing Mayan families. The Military's tactics were to gather the Mayans for a "celebration" or market day gathering and perform mass killings. They brutally Murdered and tortured thousands. They forced those who were not being killed, to watch others be killed. They also forced many to participate in killing their own people. Children suffered the most during the genocide. Many were often beaten, raped, thrown into pits of dead bodies while they were alive, they were tortured, had limbs amputated, were doused in gasoline and were set on fire. These children died very slowly and painfully. The wombs of pregnant women were cut open. were often raped while being tortured. On top of that, death squads backed up the army
and worked with them. They planned out executions and made people suspiciously"Disappear" The main drive of the genocide was racial prejudice. The Guatemala army was responsible for killing 93% of all Mayan deaths. The 36 year long civil war- genocide came to a peace agreement in 1996. The Mayan death total was around 200,000 deaths. The United states however, continued to support
Guatemalan government during the genocide. They
provided funds in the form of weapons for the army.
The United States even had a school in Georgia to train
Guatamalian military officers. The U.S. involvement during the genocide is stated as "Strategic" work. May 11, 2013 Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt was convicted of genocide by a court in his country Friday for the part he played in massacres and other crimes committed against Mayans while he ruled in 1982 and 1983. He was convicted of ordering the death of more that 1700 people He was sent to 50 years in prison. He is 86 now.-
Video on the genocide-