| 10 Little-Known Horrific Acts of Genocide

Mayan Genocide

The small Central American nation of Guatemala went through a protracted and cruel 36-year civil war that largely targeted leftist groups and their Mayan and peasant supporters. Along with US military and economic support, which included training for Guatemala’s infamous death squads, the successive Guatemalan governments during that 36-year period also received training and support from Argentina, Israel and South Africa. At the height of the civil war, a group of K'iche' and Ixil peasant farmers occupied the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City to protest the kidnapping and murder of peasants in Uspantán by the Guatemalan Army. The Guatemalan police raided the embassy and attacked the building with incendiary devices while preventing those inside from escaping. A total of 36 people died, including the indigenous protestors and embassy staff. By the end of the war in 1996, over 200,000 people were killed and 50,000 were made to disappear, a common tactic employed by the Guatemalan armed forces.

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