onthonym asked: So I'm in my Central American Studies class and today I learned that the US specifically targeted indigenous Guatemalans and killed over 200,000 people. My professor went on to state that this represents the worst human rights abuses of the 20th century in the Americas. I did not know this and at that moment I literally felt the pain of "my people" (I'm mixed indigenous/Ladino). It was surreal. I told my friends about it and they didn't really care so I figured I would tell you guys.
(TW: murder, genocide, violence)
Yeah! I’ve been learning about this in my class as well. We’ve been talking about it. I’m reading Rigoberta Menchu’s book about it and I watched the documentary “When the Mountains Tremble” (the entire thing is on YouTube— tw: dead bodies, violence genocide etc.). I’m so glad you shared that because it’s extremely important to recognize and the fact that it was caught on film is atrocious. I’m pretty sure the man and men responsible either are getting off or have gotten acquitted. I can’t remember his name or his position or what the word of what he’s actually on his way to being deemed (not responsible) is but they said he’s on his way to being completely exempt because if he’s held responsible, so many other people will have to be etc. etc. and after this genocide, this atrocity they feel that it’s too much for the person responsible to be held rightfully responsible. It’s sickening.
The Guatemalan government had the army violently murder more than 200,000 Guatemalan Indigenous people and only increased in violence and torture of people to prove points about not resisting. They had guerillas forming resistance groups trying to defend the Indigenous people (because they were Indigenous people— they were farmers, etc.) from their country’s own army violently murdering their own people and the US contributed to it. When the guerillas would come to town, if the Guatemalan army found out, they’d kill the people that were giving them food to survive or say that if people were being killed it was because of the guerillas that were banding together to FIGHT and resist this genocide and were on their side…It was horrible.
If I remember correctly, the US military came to Guatemala and trained them and gave them more torture tactics and the president fully supported the army murdering these people and tried to tell the citizens of the US that they were doing a good deed and “fighting the violent guerillas” that only even existed because of this violence and atrocity being enacted upon them— in response!
People would try to get irrigation for their neighborhood that was left in shambles by the government and the people would be “kidnapped”, end up missing and then they’d find them murdered, literally just for trying to better their community and challenge the government’s awfulness.
It’s so tragic. This is Rigoberta Menchu and the link is to “When the Mountains Tremble” the documentary about it. It’s so tragic that as you said, people don’t even know about it (I didn’t know until this year) and yet it happened and it’s documented. I’m sorry your friends didn’t care because this is so vital.