General Efraín Ríos Montt came to power in Guatemala through a coup in March 1982. A month later, he launched a “scorched earth” operation against the country’s Ixil Maya population. Under Ríos Montt’s dictatorship, the army and its paramilitary units systematically annihilated over 600 villages.
Why did the Guatemalan genocide start?
There, the Guatemalan military viewed the Maya – traditionally seen as subhumans – as siding with the insurgency and began a campaign of mass killings and disappearances of Mayan peasants.
|Perpetrators||Guatemalan government, local militias|
|Motive||anti-communism anti-Mayan sentiment|
When did the Guatemalan genocide start?
The Guatemalan Genocide refers to the killings of civilians, especially those of Mayan origin, as part of counter-insurgency operations during the 1960-1996 Guatemalan Civil War. While massacres took place in 1966-1967, the most intensive period of killings was from the Panzós massacre in 1978 until 1983.
Why did the Guatemalan government kill the Mayans?
In 1980, the Guatemalan army instituted “Operation Sophia,” which aimed at ending insurgent guerrilla warfare by destroying the civilian base in which they hid. This program specifically targeted the Mayan population, who were believed to be supporting the guerilla movement.
When did the Guatemalan civil war start?
However, the Guatemalan civil war started on November 13, 1960, when a different group of military officers attempted a coup to overthrow Ydigoras.
When did the Guatemalan genocide end?
Tens of thousands of people were killed or disappeared (a Guatemalan euphemism for dead). Another one million people-approximately half the rural population-were displaced with the country for some period of time, while tens of thousands of men, women, and children fled across the Mexican border to live in exile.