Guatemala Genocide Trial

Since the early 1960’s Guatemala suffered a terrible civil war, which lasted until 1996, pushed by economic and political inequalities. In the 1970’s Mayans started to protest, demanding more equality and integration in the life of the country, which was controlled by a repressive government. In 1980, the government embarked in “Operation Sophia”, with the massive support of the army. This was aimed to destroy the guerrileros and the population’s support toward them. The genocide started. The indigenous population living in the country-side was massacred, 626 villages were destroyed, through burnings, destruction of crops and pillages of livestock. Sacred places and cultural symbols were violated and the accounts of the Mayan people are countless and chilling. It is estimated that between 1962 and 1996, 200 000 people died or disappeared. Although some militaries were brought to justice and convicted for crimes against humanity in recent years, now there has been real progress. For the first time in Central America an ex-chief of government has been brought to justice, to be tried for and genocide. Efraín Ríos Montt (who was in power from 1982 to 1983) is now in court, in a country where impunity has prevailed for too long!

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