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The Guatemalan Genocide. Daniel Roth Joshua Goselwitz Geoffrey Durocher. Genocide noun /’je-ne-,sid\ : the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group - Merria m Webster Online English Dictionary. The Guatemalan Civil War. 1960 – 1996 Belligerents:

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the guatemalan genocide

The Guatemalan Genocide

Daniel Roth

Joshua Goselwitz

Geoffrey Durocher


Genocidenoun /’je-ne-,sid\

: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group

- Merriam Webster Online English Dictionary

the guatemalan civil war
The Guatemalan Civil War
  • 1960 – 1996
  • Belligerents:
      • Government of Guatemala (R)
      • Guatemalan Party of Labor (L)
      • CIA
  • “Right vs. Left” anti-communist war:
      • (CIA backed coup put right-wing military dictator in power)
  • Casualties: Native Mayan Populace
      • 626 villages destroyed
      • 200,000+ people killed or missing
      • 1.5 million displaced
      • 150,000+ driven to seek refuge in Mexico
stage 1 classification
Stage 1 :: Classification
  • Victimized Group: The Native Mayans
      • Since the Spanish Conquest in the 16th Century, Mayans have been oppressed and considered inferior by their Spanish masters
  • Reasons for Victimization:
      • American-backed military dictatorship overthrown in 1944 by reformists (labeled as communists).
      • As a part of the protests, Mayan leaders occupied the Spanish Embassy (1980), causing Mayans to be declared “in support of a communist regime”
stage 2 symbolization
Stage 2 :: Symbolization
  • Guatemalan native Mayans already set apart from Spanish inhabitants due to severe social and economic oppression
  • Mayans had distinct cultural definitions (i.e. clothing, language, physical appearance, etc.) making them an easily determinable target.
stage 3 dehumanization
Stage 3 :: Dehumanization
  • Due to the distinct social classes that had existed for centuries, the persecutors (the Spanish and Americans) already thought nothing of the Maya, so it took little to convince the army who the target was.
stage 4 organization
Stage 4 :: Organization
  • The CIA was the “mastermind” organizing and training the Guatemalan Government Forces with the intent of putting a capitalist regime in place.
  • The Guatemalan government and their forces (the Kaibiles) have been attributed with organizing and performing 90% of the atrocities committed
stage 5 polarization
Stage 5 :: Polarization
  • The event that incited much of the hatred that existed between the Guatemalans and the Mayans resulted from the invasion and burning of the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City
stage 6 preparation
Stage 6 :: Preparation
  • The government and their troops would go into areas known to be inhabited by Mayans
  • No major preparations were put in place for the extermination of the Mayan people
stage 7 extermination
Stage 7 :: Extermination
  • When the killings began in 1982, the soldiers would often march into Mayan villages on celebration days or market days, and corral the locals.
  • The locals (men, women and children, would be imprisoned, often raped, and then brutally killed.
      • Orders were often given to ensure that the execution was performed in such a way that “maximum suffering was assured”
stage 8 denial
Stage 8 :: Denial
  • In 2001 the former military dictator of Guatemala, José EphrainRios Montt was accused of acts of genocide, including 1200 deaths which occurred during Montt’s brief rule.
  • “We don’t have a policy

of scorched earth, we have a policy of scorched communists. ”

-- José EphrainRios Montt