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Guatemalan Genocide

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Isabelle Teruel

on 3 October 2014

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Transcript of Guatemalan Genocide

The Guatemalan government made a program called “Operation Sophia” which aimed to end insurgent guerrilla warfare and aimed toward Mayans who supported the guerrilla movement. Over the next three years the army destroyed 626 villages,and more than 200,000 people were either killed or simply "dissapeared". 1.5 million people were displaced, and 150,000 were driven to Mexico to find refuges. All because the government thought that the Mayans were going to form a communist coup.
8 Stages of Genocide
8 Stages of Genocide (continued)
This photo clearly shows the devastation and destruction that villages were left with after the awful attacks of the genocide. This is one of the many examples of how villages were affected by the genocide and how different villages looked after their homes were destroyed.
Summary of the Genocide
5. Polarization: In this step the extremists which are the main people that control the genocide drive all of the different groups apart and start making them look bad throughout media and they stop them from having any social interaction with others so that the civilians will agree with what they are doing.

6. Preparation: In this step they identify the people that they are targeting and start to get those people that they want dead or are in that group of people. Once they take the people they put them into places where they are separated from other people that aren’t within their group of people and strip them of their property. The military during the Guatemala genocide titled the mayans as the main people they wanted.

7. Extermination: In this stage they do a mass killing of everybody that they targeted. Until they feel like they’ve killed enough people. In Guatemala over three years they destroyed over 626 villages and more than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared.

8.Denial: The people that committed the murders dispose of all evidence and hide everything that had happened with the genocide and deny anything ever happened.

Judge people by race, ethnicity, religion, etc. In Guatemala there was the Guatemalan Government and the native Mayans
General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes
General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes, leader of the Guatemalan military, was a huge part of the Guatemalan genocide. Fuentes guided the military into attacking villages, supported and followed through with the genocide, and later met the consequences of doing so. In June of 2011, the former General was arrested for inhumanity and genocide, and was thrown in jail. While under his 36 year command, Fuentes took responsibility for the death of about 200,000 people, and was in charge of the 626 village attacks that happened over the course of the genocide. Although Fuentes was the main leader of the genocide, other military officers were also faced the consequences for participation in the mass killing. People like Colonel Héctor Bol de la Cruz and Jorge Humberto Gómez López took part in the genocide as well and were recently arrested for it. Essentially, things didn’t go well at all for Guatemalans while General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes was in position.
When there are groups, symbols are established to show physically who is who. In Guatemala, people were distinguished by quality of clothing, language, physical appearance, and economic differences.
The emotional/mental part of the process. It is when one group is mentally broken down by another group by treating them like animals. They don’t regard them as human, and after enough of dehumanization, the group being dehumanized will be weak and easier to control. In Guatemala, the Govt looked down on the native Mayans and saw them as lesser beings.

Here is a photo of the Guatemalan flag, a symbol of Guatemalans ‘peace’ and ‘purity’, although the country itself didn’t undergo much peace during the genocide.
Plans are made on how to kill large groups of people. Genocides are always organized, and this is the step where the plan to exterminate people is made.
This picture, photographed by Miquel Dewever-Plana, was taken for after the genocide. The photographer wanted to spread awareness of the genocide, and portray the deep darkness it had left in Guatemala. This photo was one of many that showed this darkness and mourning.
These bodies, found after the genocide by survivors, showed many signs of abuse and harshness. Survivors of the genocide say the two were brutally tortured during an attack on one of the several villages. They had been strangled, with their hands tied tightly behind their backs. Others had their tongues and ears cut off and fed to them. This kind of treatment was common throughout this time.
Guatemalan Genocide
16th Century

Spanish explorer conquered Guatemala and the Mayans became slaves in their own land.


Mayans began to protest against the repressive government, equality, and inclusion of their language and culture.


The Guatemalan government made a program called “Operation Sophia” which aimed to end insurgent guerrilla warfare and aimed toward Mayans who supported the guerrilla movement.

The army destroyed 626 villages, killed or/and “disappeared” more than 200,000 people, and displaced 1.5 million, while 150,00 seek refuge in Mexico
After 36 years, the government signed a peace accord with the Guatemala National Revolutionary Unity. The United Nations organized a Commission of Historical Clarification for Guatemala.
Commission of Historical Clarification for Guatemala began to work in July and was funded by a number of countries.

Three former members of the “civil patrol” were convicted in the first case arising from the genocide.

“Guatemala: Memory of Silence,” was stated as a genocide which targeted Mayan Indians. This genocide targeted the Ixil Mayas; the Q’anjob and Chuj Mayas; the K’iche’ Mayas of Joyabaj, Zacualpa and Cliché; and the Achi Mayas.

June 2011
General Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes was caught and charged with genocide and crimes against humanity.

August 2011

Four soldiers were sentenced with 6,060 years each in prison for the massacre in a village of Dos Erres in Guatemala’s northern Petén region.

"Genocide in Guatemala." Genocide in Guatemala. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2014.
"GENOCIDE - GUATEMALA." GENOCIDE - GUATEMALA. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
"News." Guatemala Arrests Former General for Genocide. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.
"Guatemalan Genocide." Prezi.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.
"Genocide Watch." Genocide Watch. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014.
the Genocide
the Genocide
Guatemala used to be the center of Mayan civilization, until around the 10th century. Then around in the 16th century, Spanish conquers took over and Mayans became slaves in their own land. After that, the Mayans became very poor and underprivileged. In the 1970s, Mayans started protest against the government because the Mayans wanted more equality. Then, in 1980, the Guatemalan Government started "Operation Sophia" which was an operation to end the guerrilla warfare in Guatemala. This operation also aimed to kill the Mayans because the Government thought that the Mayans were participating in the warfare, even though they weren't.
After 36 years, the genocide ended and the government signed a peace treaty with the insurgent group. People from the Guatemalan army were said to have committed genocide against groups like the Mayans. On November 1998 three people that were former militants were convicted in the first case coming from the genocide. Military Commissioner Felipe Cusanero was charged to 150 years in prison for the disappearance of 6 people during the genocide. In June 2011 General Mario Hector Lopez Fuentes was charged with genocide and crimes against humanity. In august 2011 four soldiers were charged with 30 years for every murder during the genocide which totaled to 6,060 years in prison. Although the genocide was over, Guatemala still suffered. The country faced devastation in so many places, and the genocide still takes up a big part in their countries history.
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