The Silent Holocaust: The Guatemalan Genocide

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The Silent Holocaust: The Guatemalan Genocides Genocide is not only a murderous madness, but the thought of a political Utopia, tempting many political leaders of multi-ethnic, religious, and cultural societies throughout history. From 1978 to 1983, General Efrain Rios Montt conducted inhumane acts and brutal killings against indigenous communities in Guatemala. ‘Death squads’ were sent into communities, killing anyone with a trace of fear in order to, “Dry up the human sea in which the guerrilla fish swim,” as stated by Montt. Although rebellion support was gained from cruel acts carried out by the government, troops responded to rebellious guerilla movements with massive massacres on innocent civilians. The Guatemalan genocides were…show more content…
Upon Arrival, Mayan cities were burned and Maya people were oppressed and executed. Indigenous people were seen as the lowest social class and were silenced from political interference and exploited on their homeland. Although Guatemala gained independence in 1821, brutal racism and discrimination continued and indigenous people remained segregated. Guatemala swayed between Liberal and Conservative rule until Liberal gained control in 1871 with capitalist ideals and a desire to boom the coffee bean industry. A harsh industry and plantation-based economy exploited Indian lands and contributed further to the racism against indigenous people. In 1952, President Juan Jose Arevalo put the law of Agrarian Reform into motion. This law outlawed debt peonage and regulated land renting. The U.S, whom was benefiting from the focus on a “coffee boom”, then launched operation PBSuccess, in which a CIA coup overthrew Arevalo by spreading propaganda around the…show more content…
A group of military officers launched a coup d’etat, or a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government. The coup failed; however, organizers escaped capture and established the first guerrilla forces, vowing to overtake the government. The guerrillas were angered by social repression and political decline. They would not gain a large following among the people until 1978. Several indians were recruited by guerrilla groups, and joining an anti government group lead them to question several injustices against them such as their poverty, segregation from society, or the hard farm lives they lived. However, siding with either side of the genocides, army or guerilla, would mark them as an indefinite target of the
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