Resources on Genocide in Guatemala

Resources on this website | Books and Articles | Reports | Survivor testimonies
Commemoration | Film and Video | Websites   
(Last revised March 30, 2005)

Other resources pages: Past Genocides 1901-1950: Hereros 1904 | Armenian 1915  | Holodomor 1933 | Shoah 1941 | Parajmos 1941
Past Genocides 1951-2000: East Bengal 1971 | Burundi 1972  | Cambodia 1975 | Guatemala 1982  | Iraqi Kurds 1988 | Bosnia 1992 | Rwanda 1994

Resources on this website

News Monitor on Guatemala 2001-2004

Books and Articles

Kent Ashabranner, Children of the Maya; A Guatemalan Indian Odyssey Dodd, Mead 1986.

Written for Youth. Recounts the persecution and genocide of the Mayan Indians in Guatemala by the Guatemalan government. Not for all children.

Patrick Ball, Paul Kobrak, and Herbert F. Spirer, State Violence in Guatemala, 1960-1996: A Quantitative Reflection, American Association for the Advancement of Scienceshr. See

Edgar Alfredo Balsells Tojo, Olvido o memoria : el dilema de la sociedad guatemalteca, Guatemala : F&G Editores Litografía Nawal Wuj, 2001, 228 pp.

Summary: An excellent analysis of Guatemala's tortured relationship with its past, with focus on the background of the conflict, human rights abuses, the project of the "Comité de Esclarecimiento Histórico" and the legacy of genocide and the tribunals of terror.
Beristain, Carlos. "The Value of Memory." On the CSVR website .

Cabrera, Roberto. "Should we remember? Recovering Historical Memory in Guatemala."

On the CSVR website . research/dwtp/cabrera.pdf

Robert M. Carmack (Editor), Harvest of Violence: The Maya Indians and the Guatemalan Crisis (University of Oklahoma Press; 1992)

There are 10 different case histories all written by different people who are among the top guatemalan scholars.

Ignacio Bizarro Ujpán, (James D. Sexton translator and editor) Ignacio: The Diary of a Maya Indian of Guatemala, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press)

The story of Ignacio Bizarro Ujpán, a Maya Indian who resides on the shores of the beautiful Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. The story narrates Ignacio's life town, and country during the 1980s, a period when many campesinos found themselves caught between two fires--the insurgency of the guerrillas and the counterinsurgency of the army. Meanwhile, Ignacio and his fellow townspeople attempted to maintain as much normalcy in their lives as possible.

Ricardo Falla, Massacres in the Jungle: Ixcan, Guatemala, 1975-1982, Translated from Masacres de la Selva (Boulder, Co, Westview, 1994)

Ricardo Falla, S.J., has done pastoral work with the Communities of Population in Resistance in the Ixcán since 1987. He is the author of numerous books, including his most recent one, Massacres of the Ixcán Jungle, which documents the army massacres of the early 1980s.

Felipe Gómez Isa, Asier Martínez Bringas, et al. Racismo y genocidio en Guatemala /[Bilbao] : Universidad de Deusto, Instituto de Derechos Humanos, 2000. 31 p.

Greg Grandin, The Blood of Guatemala : A History of Race and Nation

Over the latter half of the twentieth century, the Guatemalan state slaughtered more than two hundred thousand of its citizens. In the wake of this violence, a vibrant pan-Mayan movement has emerged, one that is challenging Ladino (non-indigenous) notions of citizenship and national identity. In The Blood of Guatemala Greg Grandin locates the origins of this ethnic resurgence within the social processes of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century state formation rather than in the ruins of the national project of recent decades. Focusing on Mayan elites in the community of Quetzaltenango, Grandin shows how their efforts to maintain authority over the indigenous population and secure political power in relation to non-Indians played a crucial role in the formation of the Guatemalan nation. To explore the close connection between nationalism, state power, ethnic identity, and political violence, Grandin draws on sources as diverse as photographs, public rituals, oral testimony, literature, and a collection of previously untapped documents written during the nineteenth century. He explains how the cultural anxiety brought about by Guatemala's transition to coffee capitalism during this period led Mayan patriarchs to develop understandings of race and nation that were contrary to Ladino notions of assimilation and progress. This alternative national vision, however, could not take hold in a country plagued by class and ethnic divisions. In the years prior to the 1954 coup, class conflict became impossible! e to contain as the elites violently opposed land claims made by indigenous peasants. This "history of power" reconsiders the way scholars understand the history of Guatemala and will be relevant to those studying nation building and indigenous communities across Latin America.

Greg Grandin "History, motive, law, intent: combining historical and legal methods in understanding Guatemala’s 1981–1983 genocide" in Robert Gellately and Ben Kiernan, editors, The specter of genocide : mass murder in historical perspective, New York : Cambridge University Press, May 2003.

Focusing on the twentieth century, this collection of essays by leading international experts offers an up-to-date, comprehensive history and analysis of multiple cases of genocide and genocidal acts. The book contains studies of the Armenian genocide; the victims of Stalinist terror; the Holocaust; and Imperial Japan. Contributors explore colonialism and address the fate of the indigenous peoples in Africa, North America, and Australia. In addition, extensive coverage of the post-1945 period includes the atrocities in the former Yugoslavia, Bali, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, East Timor, and Guatemala

Priscilla B. Hayner, Unspeakable Truths : Confronting State Terror and Atrocity, (Routledge, Dec. 2000), 304 pp.

A detailed survey of the twenty major truth commissions established around the world, with special attention to South Africa, El Salvador, Argentina, Chile, and Guatemala. Exploring inner workings of these official investigations - the anguish, the injustice, and the legacy of hate they are meant to absolve - the author finds that victims are torn between the need to remember and the need to forget.

Thomas Hoepker, Return of the Maya (photographs by Thomas Hoepker, Magnum) New York : Henry Holt, 1998, p. xi, 144 p. :

W. George Lovell, Conquest and Survival in Colonial Guatemala: A Historical Geography of the Cuchumatán Highlands, 1500-1821 (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1992), 279 pp,.

Thomas Melville, Through a Glass Darkly: The U.S. Holocaust in Central America (Xlibris Corporation, 2005), 652 pp

The stark facts about the genocide of the indigenous Mayans in Guatemala during the 1970's and 1980's have been reported by others, but not in an easily readable format. Other sources have attempted to spell out the role of the US government in the genocide, but more in a legal or academic tone. This book tells the longitudinal story in measured detail and in a personal manner through the life story of Maryknoll priest Ron Hennessey who worked in El Petén and later in San Mateo Ixtan. The book describes Hennessey's conversion from being an unapologetic patriot from Iowa to a staunch opponent of Ronald Reagan's policies in Central America - policies that occasionally threatened his life. [Reverand Ron Hennessey b.11Oct1929, Rowley, Buchanan Co, IA, d.29Apr1999, age 69, of a heart attack at his sister's home, Waterloo, Black Hawk Co, IA, burial in Maryknoll Cemetery, Maryknoll, NY. He was ordained in Maryknoll, NY, in 1964, and served in Central America for 34 years, mostly in Guatemala and El Salvador. ]

Victor Montejo, Testimony : death of a Guatemalan village, translated by Victor Perera, (Willimantic, CT : Curbstone Press, 1987), 113 p.

An eyewitness account by a Guatemalan primary school teacher, detailing one instance of violent conflict between the indigenous Mayan people and the army. Written in clear, direct prose, this account reads like an adventure story while conveying an historical reality. Victor Montejo is a Jakaltek Maya from the Huehuetenango in the Northwestern Highlands of Guatemala where he was a school teacher before coming to the United States. His book of Jakaltek-Maya folk tales and fables, The Bird Who Cleans the World, is the first such collection published in English. He is the author of several books, including Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village, and the poetry books, El Kanil: Man of Lightning and Sculpted Stones. A professor of anthropology at the University of California-Davis, he lives in California with his wife and children. A film based on this book is now being developed by Cutting Edge Entertainment. The Spanish language vewrsion was publiched as Testimonio : muerte de una comunidad indígena en Guatemala, (Guatemala : Editorial Universitaria, 1993), 105 p.

Victor Montejo, Voices from Exile : Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History, (Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, 1999), xiv, 287 p.

Victor Montejo's latest book is an important and brilliant analysis of recent Mayan history by one of the Mayan people's most significant scholars. It is especially important because this is an Indigenous voice speaking about Mayan history rather than the however well-intentioned and scholarly rigorous recent work of non-Mayan Americans like Drs. Nelson and Warren. Montejo, a Popti Mayan from Jakaltenango in Guatemala's Western highlands, was both an eyewitness to much recent Mayan history as well as a US-trained academic.

Loucky, James and Robert Carlsen. Summer 1991. "Massacre in Santiago Atitlan [Dec. 1990]" Cultural Survival Quarterly.

Nelson, Craig W. and Kenneth I. Taylor, Witness to Genocide: The Present Situation of Indians in Guatemala. London: Survival International. 1983

Victor Perera, Unfinished Conquest: The Guatemalan Tragedy, Daniel Chauche , Photographer (Berkeley; CA: Univ. of California , 1993)

Victor Perera is a native Guatemalan who took the better part of 6 years to write this book. This book is chock full of great information gathered from hundreds of interviews. Perera doesn't waste time trying to interpret the events he writes about, instead he let's the participants and witnesses speak for themselves. He interviews everybody for this book from wealthy landowners, government officials, military personnel, catholic and evangelical clergy and mostly the Mayan people who have suffered from 30 years of civil war. He then fills in the cracks with historical background. His writing is very precise and specific, his descriptions paint a very vivid picture of the oppression and genocide that continues to take place. The book begins with his visits to the garbage dump slums of Guatemala city and proceeds to other hot spots of violence. The core of the book is those chapters about the ixil triangle area where as many as one third of the local Mayan population was killed, disappeared or forced to flee the country. "By telling the stories of real people, Mayas who cling to their traditional gods, their communal ways and their brilliant woven clothing, Perera has selected the most effective means of conveying the astonishing resilience of Mayan culture. "Perera finds that military terrorism has outlasted the Communist threat; murder and massacre have become the reflexive response to any disagreement, public or private."
José Emilio Ordóñez Cifuentes, Rostros de las prácticas etnocidas en Guatemala , (México, D.F. : Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ; [Guatemala] : Corte de Constitucionalidad de Guatemala : Procurador de los Derechos Humanos, 1996, 173 p. ;

Jan Perlin, "The Guatemalan Historical Clarification Commission Finds Genocide" ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 6, Num 2, (Spring 2000), p. 389 -414

Article also in the International Law Students' Association Journal by a member of CEH.

Ron Theodore Robin, Scandals and scoundrels : seven cases that shook the academy, (Berkeley : University of California Press, 2004)

Contents: Introduction : why do they happen? -- Plagiarism and the demise of gatekeepers -- The noble lie : "arming America" and the right to bear arms -- "A self of many possibilities" : Joseph Ellis, the protean historian -- The ghost of Caliban : Derek Freeman and "the fateful hoaxing of Margaret Mead" -- Violent people and gentle savages : the Yanomami genocide controversy -- The willful suspension of disbelief : Rigoberta Menchu and the making of the Mayan holocaust -- Science fiction : Sokal's hoax and the "linguist left" -- Conclusion : what do they mean? Notes: Includes bibliographical references and index. Subjects: Plagiarism. Impostors and imposture. Learning and scholarship--Moral and ethical aspects.

Victoria Sanford, Buried secrets : Truth and human rights in Guatemala, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Sanford examines political transformation through ethnographically detailed case studies of the exhumation of clandestine cemeteries of massacre victims, the excavation of collective memory, and the reconstruction of community among massacre survivors, refugees and displaced peoples. She traces political changes from the micro of political mobilization in relatively unknown rural villages to the macro level of national political events.. Sanford explores genocidal massacres of the late 1970s and early 1980s (known as La Violencia) in Guatemala from the perspective of rural Maya survivors. Since 1994, she has conducted research with the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation and collected more than 350 testimonies from massacre survivors. She examines how the excavation of individual and collective memory is enacted through the legal process of the exhumation of clandestine cemeteries and how integration of these memories of genocide of the Maya are critical elements for national reconciliation and peacebuilding. She studies collective trauma and healing through the reconstruction of popular memory and truth. Her Dissertation, "Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala" 2000a. "Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala," (Doctoral dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University) will soon be published as a book. She is co-author (with the FAFG) of Informe de la Fundación de Antropología Forense de Guatemala: Cuatro Casos Paradigmaticos Solicitados por La Comisión para el Escalrecimiento Historico de Guatemala Realizadas en las Comunidades de Panzós, Belén, Acul y Chel (Guatemala City: FAFG, 2000). Sanford is in the Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame.
See also:
"Coming to Terms with Genocide in Guatemala: The Chilling Effect of Army Impunity and Local Prosecution" Presented June 10, 2001 at the 4th Association of Genocide Scholars Conference, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
"From I, Rigoberta to the Commissioning of Truth: Maya Women and the Reshaping of Guatemalan History", Cultural Critique 47 (2001) 16-53[Access article in PDF]

"Civil Patrol Massacres and the 'Gray Zone' of Justice"

Jean-Marie Simon, Guatemala : Eternal Spring Eternal Tyranny, (W.W. Norton & Company, 256 pp.

For 20 years Guatemala's government has been one of the most repressive on earth, yet the least acknowledged in the Western hemisphere. Jean-Marie Simon spent six years in Guatemala and the result is a beautiful but disturbing book of a civilization violated. More than 130 full-color photographs. For 20 years Guatemala's government has been one of the most repressive on earth, yet the least acknowledged in the Western hemisphere. Jean-Marie Simon spent six years in Guatemala and the result is a beautiful but disturbing book of a civilization violated. More than 130 full-color photographs.
One has to understand the purpose of this amnesty international book. The sole intent is to demonstrate the deplorable human rights situation in Guatemala. There is no intent to present a balanced picture. Basically it is a summarization of Guatemala in the 1980s a terrible decade for that country. No punches are pulled here, just page after page of horror upon horror all presented in vivid color. The photography is wonderful and i can't think of many books about Guatemala with better photos. They capture the beauty of the land and people and the blatant tragedy at hand. This book isn't for the squeamish. I first read it as i was preparing to travel there to study Spanish. This book scared me to death but more than that it outraged me and i think that was the purpose. Secondly it does educate at a basic level what has been going on in Guatemala. A good primer about the human rights atrocities in Guatemala.

Clark Taylor , (b. 1934). Return of Guatemala's refugees : reweaving the torn (Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1998) 228 p.

On February 13, 1982, the Guatemalan army stormed into the remote northern Guatemala Ixcan village of Santa María Tzejá. The villagers had already fled in terror, but over the next six days seventeen of them, mostly women and children, were caught and massacred, animals were slaughtered, and the entire village was burned to the ground. Twelve years later, utilizing terms of refugee agreements reached in 1982, villagers from Santa María who had fled to Mexico returned to their homes and lands to re-create their community with those who had stayed in Guatemala. Return of Guatemala's Refugees tells the story of that process. In this moving and provocative book, Clark Taylor describes the experiences of the survivors-both those who stayed behind in conditions of savage repression and those who fled to Mexico where they learned to organize and defend their rights. Their struggle to rebuild is set in the wider drama of efforts by grassroots groups to pressure the government, economic elites, and army to fulfill peace accords signed in December of 1996. Focusing on the village of Santa María Tzejá, Taylor defines the challenges that faced returning refugees and their community. How did the opposing subcultures of fear (generated among those who stayed in Guatemala) and of education and human rights (experienced by those who took refuge in Mexico) coexist? Would the flood of international money sent to settle the refugees and fulfill the peace accords serve to promote participatory development or new forms of social control? How did survivors expand the space for democracy firmly grounded in human rights? How did they get beyond the grief and trauma that remained from the terror of the early eighties? Finally, the ultimate challenge, how did they work within conditions of extreme poverty to create a grassroots democracy in a militarized society?
Contents Preface Introduction 1. Torn by Terror 2. Reweaving the Pieces: Culture of Fear/Culture of Learning 3. The Contextual Loom: The Peace Accords, Civil Society, and the Powerful 4. Clash of Patterns: From Mexico and Guatemala A Pictorial 5. Resources for Reweaving: The Perils of Development 6. Human Rights: The Color of Life 7. The Gray of Frozen Grief: Resolving the Trauma of Memory 8. Tearing Still? The Army in Peacetime 9. Weaving the Future: What Needs to Be Done and How To Get Involved Appendixes A. U.S. Groups Providing Resources on Guatemala and Support for the Peace Process B. Chronology of Guatemalan History C. Chronology of the Guatemalan Peace Process Acronyms Notes Bibliography Index
About the Author(s) Clark Taylor is Associate Professor of Latin-American Studies in the College of Public and Community Service, University of Massachusetts at Boston. He is also chair of the board of the National Coordinating Office on Refugees, Returnees and Displaced of Guatemala (NCOORD), and was a founding member of Witness for Peace's Guatemala Committee.

Samuel Totten, "Genocide in Guatemala", Encyclopedia of Genocide, Israel W. Charny, Editor in Chief; [Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1999, Vol. I; p. 281-282.

Robert H.Trudeau, Guatemalan Politics. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1993.

Benjamin A. Valentino (b. 1971), Final solutions : mass killing and genocide in the twentieth century, (Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 2004).

Contents: Mass killing and genocide -- The perpetrators and the public -- The strategic logic of mass killing -- Communist mass killings: the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia -- Ethnic mass killings: Nazi Germany, Armenia, and Rwanda -- Counterguerrilla mass killings: Guatemala and Afghanistan -- Conclusion: Anticipating and preventing mass killing.
enjamin A. Valentino, Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. finds that ethnic hatreds or discrimination, undemocratic systems of government, and dysfunctions in society play a much smaller role in mass killing and genocide than is commonly assumed. He shows that the impetus for mass killing usually originates from a relatively small group of powerful leaders and is often carried out without the active support of broader society. Mass killing, in his view, is a brutal political or military strategy designed to accomplish leaders’ most important objectives, counter threats to their power, and solve their most difficult problems. In order to capture the full scope of mass killing during the twentieth century, Valentino does not limit his analysis to violence directed against ethnic groups, or to the attempt to destroy victim groups as such, as do most previous studies of genocide. Rather, he defines mass killing broadly as the intentional killing of a massive number of noncombatants, using the criteria of 50,000 or more deaths within five years as a quantitative standard. Final Solutions focuses on three types of mass killing: communist mass killings like the ones carried out in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia; ethnic genocides as in Armenia, Nazi Germany, and Rwanda; and “counter-guerrilla” campaigns including the brutal civil war in Guatemala and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Valentino closes the book by arguing that attempts to prevent mass killing should focus on disarming and removing from power the leaders and small groups responsible for instigating and organizing the killing.

Daniel Wilkinson, Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala ( Houghton Mifflin, 2002), 320 pp. .

Silence on the Mountain is a virtuoso work of reporting and a masterfully plotted narrative tracing the history of Guatemala’s thirty-six-year internal war, a conflict that claimed the lives of some 200,000 people, the vast majority of whom died (or were “disappeared”) at the hands of the U.S.-backed military government. Written by Daniel Wilkinson, a young human rights worker, the story begins in 1993, when the author decides to investigate the arson of a coffee plantation’s manor house by a band of guerrillas. The questions surrounding this incident soon broaden into a complex mystery whose solution requires Wilkinson to dig up the largely unwritten history of the country’s recent civil war, following its roots back to a land reform movement that was derailed by a U.S.-sponsored military coup in 1954 and to the origins of a plantation system that put Guatemala’s Mayan Indians to work picking coffee beans for the American and European market.
In 1993, Wilkinson, a recent Harvard graduate travelling in Guatemala, befriended the heiress of a coffee plantation there. Her family had abandoned the land in 1983, after guerrillas burned down the main house. Wilkinson’s frustrated attempts to discover what prompted the arson became an extensive investigation, and as the author interviewed a cross section of Guatemalans—from the former defense minister General Gramajo to eighty-year-old peasant farmers—his friend's plantation emerged as a microcosm of Guatemala’s hidden and terrible history. The author's style is taut and precise, but it is the Guatemalans themselves who speak with the greatest eloquence. After a massacre in the village of Sacuchum, where forty-four peasants had their throats slit by the Army for allegedly aiding the guerrillas, a witness describes a peasant pleading for his life before a military official: ‘Please, señor, God does not permit this,’ he cried, to which the captain replied, ‘Here there is no God! Here there is only the Devil.’” From The Nation “ [I]n other hands, this might have resulted in a simplistic polemic; but Wilkinson, who is blessed with not just considerable courage but also a strong moral compass, seemed determined to understand how it all played out through real people and real events….[T]he resulting book, in which he combines the probity of a serious historian with the literary instincts of a crime writer, winds up peeling back layers of silence and deceit in ways that are reminiscent of what Marcel Ophuls’s film The Sorrow and the Pity did for Vichy France.” From The Los Angeles Times “ Wilkinson writes after the manner of Philip Gourevitch (‘We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families’). Gourevitch’s account of the Rwandan genocide asks how a nation heals from the shared memory of trauma; Wilkinson wants to know where the memories come from and who fills the silences in the aftermath of a national catastrophe.” From Publisher’s Weekly “ Written in the vein of a Robert Kaplan travel journal, this profound book traces the history of Guatemala's 36-year internal struggle through personal interviews that recount the heart-wrenching stories of plantation owners, army officials, guerrillas and the wretchedly poor peasants stuck in the middle. Wilkinson's narrative unfolds gradually, beginning with his quest to unlock the mysteries of the short-lived 1952 Law of Agrarian Reform, which saw the redistribution of land to the working class. Daniel Wilkinson is an attorney with Human Rights Watch in New York. His book, Silence on the Mountain, won the 2003 PEN/Albrand award for outstanding first nonfiction by an American author.


Manuel Jesús Caravantes Pozuelos El delito de genocidio, Guatemala: 1950, 36 p.

Guatemala: Nunca Maás (4 vols) Infomre poyecto intersiocesano de recuperación de la memoria histórica, (Guatemala City guateala: Oficina de Derechos Humans del Arzbipado de Guatemala (ODHAG), 1998 See

Abridged one volume  translation into English Guatemala: Never Again! Recovery of Historical Memory Project (REMHI): The Offical Report of the Human Rights Office, Archdiocese of Guatemala (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1999), 332p.

On April 24, 1998, Monsignor Juan Gerardi Conedera, presented the Recuperation of Historical Memory (REHMI) report, which documented torture, kidnappings, massacres and other crimes against humanity committed largely by the Guatemalan Army during the 1960-1996 armed conflict. Two days later he was bludgeoned to death in the garage of the parish house of the San Sebastián Church, Guatemala City.

Guatemala: Memoria del Silencio: Comisión para Esclarecimiento HistóricoFebrero 1999  [Guatemala: Memory of Silence: Commission for Historical Clarification]

Five years ago on February 25, 1999 the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) presented a report finding acts of genocide were committed between during 1981 and 1982 in four regions of Guatemala. A Summary of the report in English can be read online . The full Spanish version is also online Comisión para Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH). Note especially the section" "Capítulo II: Volumen 3 - GENOCIDIO"  The 3-member commision included Christian Tomuschat, of Germany (Chief Commisioner), a former UN Independent Expert for Human Rights in Guatemala and Otilia Lux de Cotí and Alfredo Balsells Tojo of Guatemala.

Informe de un genocidio : los refugiados guatemaltecos, [Report of a Genocide: the Guatemalan Refugees] 2a ed, (Mexico, D.F. : Ediciones de la Paz, 1983), 82 p.

Minority Rights Group. The Maya of Guatemala. London: Minority Rights Group International. September 1994.

Minorities at Risk Project report "Indigenous People of Guatemala" by Pam Burke 7/17/95 Michelle C. Boomgaard, 9/22/00 Adam Connolly, 06/17/02

Minorities at Risk Project, University of Maryland. Includes a chronology since 1991 and a risk assessement.

Decision of the Spanish Supreme Court concerning the Guatemala Genocide Case. Feb. 25, 2003 .  (English) or Spanish  full text 58 pages, PDF file Tribunal Supremo


Annual Remembrance:

February 25 - Día Nacional de la Dignidad de las Víctimas de la Violencia (National day of Dignity of the Victims of the Violence ) On this day in 1999, the Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH) presented it's report, Guatemala, Memory of Silence finding acts of genocide were committed between during 1981 and 1982 in four regions of Guatemala. A Summary of the report in English can be read online . The full Spanish version is also online Comisión para Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH). Note especially the section "Capítulo II: Volumen 3 - GENOCIDIO" Also read on this website: Resources on Genocide in Guatemala and News Monitor on Guatemala 2001-2004

Rio Negro Massacre Memorial. On March 12, 1995 a memorial was Unveiled in Rabinal, Baja Verapaz on the 13th anniversary of the 1982 Rio Negro Massacre. On that date, 177 women and children were raped, tortured, mutilated and dumped in a mass grave. Constructed by the survivors of the Rio Negro massacre as a testimony to the atrocities committed by the Guatemalan army and civil defense patrollers against their family members. Built before the 1996 Peace Accord, the steel and cement monument (three meters thick, four meters wide, five meters high, sunk two meters into the ground) was built to prevent its destruction. A previous Monument to Truth, unveiled in April 1994 was destroyed two weeks after it was erected. On March 1, 1995, a second plaque that was being readied for the March 12 unveiling was destroyed in a Guatemala City workshop.


Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo. "Gam Pide cumplimiento de las recomendaciones de la CEH." 1999.

Guatemala: Personal Testimonies (1982, 20 min icarus film. Produced by Skylight Pictures

Indian survivors of massacres mounted by the army bear witness to human rights abuses of General Rios Montt's government.

Guatemala : Roads of Silence Guatemala [ Caminos del silencio] (1998, 59 min) In Spanish with English subtitles
Presents a testimony of the daily life of the thousands of Indians persecuted by the Guatemalan army, of their social organizations, and of their struggle for dignity and the right to live.

MayanTV is the first public access television station in Central America as well as the first in Latin America.

Escuela Guatemalteca de Communicación (EGCs) mission is to contribute to the empowerment of the Mayan people through the establishment of their own media outlets.

Dicovering Dominga Produced and Directed by Patricia Flynn. Website for the July 2003 Episode of POV (Point of View) on PBS television

On March 13, 1982, Denese Becker was a nine-year-old Maya girl named Dominga living in the Maya highlands, when the Guatemalan army entered the village of Rio Negro. By the time the soldiers left, hundreds of people, including 70 women and 107 children, had been massacred and dumped in a mass grave. They became part of the estimated 4,000 to 5,000 men, women and children killed in the Rio Negro area by military forces from 1980 to 1983. The Rio Negro villagers had been marked as "insurgents" for resisting their forced removal to make way for a World Bank-funded dam. Dominga was one of the unaccountably "lucky" survivors of the massacre at Rio Negro. Placed in an orphanage, she was adopted two years later by a Baptist minister and his wife from Iowa. Living in Iowa, Denese Becker was haunted by memories of her Mayan childhood. A quest for her lost identity in Guatemala turns into a searing journey of political awakening that reveals a genocidal crime and the still-unmet cry for justice from the survivors.

Survivor testimonies

Jesús Tecú Osorio "They took them one by one to a ravine that was about twenty meters from where we were. We heard shots, screams and crying."

Dominga Sic (Denise Becker) * b. 1971 "She told me to take the baby and run and never look back."

See book by Ignacio Bizarro Ujpán (above)

Guatemalan Survivor "[T]hey grabbed me by the shirt, right here, at my chest. "Look up," they said."


CALDH- Centro para Acción Legal en Derechos Humanos Center for Human Rights Legal Action, est. 1989, 1994)

also the English website

Peace Pledge Union (est. 1934, London) Study guide on genocide for student, teachers and parents, includes material on past genocides in NAMIBIA, ARMENIA, UKRAINE, the HOLOCAUST, CAMBODIA, GUATEMALA, RWANDA and BOSNIA

Fundación Myrna Mack Works for the modernization of the judicial system and to facilitate the building of democracy. Founded in 1993 and named after anthropologist Myrna Mack Chang (1949 - 1990) who was assassinated in September of 1990.

El Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL)Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) is a non-governmental organization (NGO), founded in 1991 by a group of prominent human rights defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Fundación Rigoberta Menchú Fundación Rigoberta Menchú Tum (FRMT) The Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation A foundation created by Rigoberta Menchú after winning the 1992 Nobel peace prize. The foundation works to promote peace, human rights, and development, especially as it concerns indigenous people. For the 1995 elections, the foundation launched a project to promote voter participation and turnout.

Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala (MINUGUA) United Nations Mission to Guatemala OR see also

Plataforma contra la Impunitat a Guatemala

Comisión para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Guatemala

Guatemala Human Rights Commission

Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala

National Security Archives Declassified Documents Relating to U.S. Intervention in Guatemala.  An excellent source.  Contains declassified State Department and CIA documents related to the U.S. backed coup of 1954 and years of military repression since then.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), 1979, opened 1993, Wash, DC Includes the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies and the Committee on Conscience W ebsite Includes several events on genocide in Guatemala

Yale University Website on the Guatemalan Truth Commission : "The Guatemalan Truth Commission & The US Role"; "An Overview of the Guatemalan Clarifications Commission"; "Guatemala: A History of Violence."

A Human Rights History of Guatemala. Provides a brief overview of Guatemalan history from the stand point of human rights; extends through pre-Columbian times, the conquest, and the present with special emphasis on modern political repression and military abuses especially of indigenous people; builds a case that the abuse of human rights in Guatemala is genocide against the indigenous population.

Other Links on Guatemala provided by Amnesty International .  Links compiled in 1998.

Violence against Returning Refugees (1996). Human Rights Watch report about government's and military's treatment of people returning from refugee camps.

 1997 Human Rights Report: Guatemala. U. S. State Department report on the human rights situation in Guatemala since the Peace Process.

Organizations in Guatemala. Hot links to numerous mass organizations in Guatemala, including popular groups that oppose the military, support indigenous rights, and protest disappearances.

Guatemala: State of Impunity. Amnesty International for the period March 1994 to October 1996, examinaing the issue of granting broad amnesty and immunity from prosecution to the military leaders responsible for the nearly 200,000 murders in Guatemala.

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