Guatemalan Genocide Presentation

Daniel Roth
Joshua Goselwitz
Geoffrey Durocher
Genocide noun /’je-ne-,sid\
: the deliberate and systematic destruction
of a racial, political, or cultural group
- Merriam Webster Online English Dictionary
The Guatemalan Civil War
1960 – 1996
“Right vs. Left” anti-communist war:
Government of Guatemala (R)
Guatemalan Party of Labor (L)
(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
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
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
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
Stage 4 :: Organization
The CIA was the
organizing and training
the Guatemalan
Government Forces with
the intent of putting a
capitalist regime in
The Guatemalan
government and their
forces (the Kaibiles)
have been attributed
with organizing and
performing 90% of the
atrocities committed
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
 The
government and
their troops would go
into areas known to
be inhabited by
 No major preparations
were put in place for
the extermination of
the Mayan people
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
In 2001 the former military
dictator of Guatemala,
José Ephrain Rios 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 Ephrain Rios Montt

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