Past Features

April 7, 2008 (Vol. 7, No. 6)

Genocide in Guatemala

The gathering of CONAVIGUA, the national Maya widows organization. Nebaj, El Quiche, Guatemala, Marzo, 1997.
"Peace is constructed with democracy and justice." The gathering of CONAVIGUA, the national Maya widows organization. Nebaj, El Quiché, Guatemala, Marzo, 1997. Provided by Professor Victoria Sanford.
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The term "genocide" makes most of us think of the Holocaust during WWII, or the slaughter that took place a decade ago in Rwanda, or the situation today in Darfur. Closer to home, though—in the Central American country of Guatemala—more than 200,000 people were killed or disappeared during the 1980s.

According to Lehman Anthropology Professor Victoria Sanford, members of the Guatemalan Army were responsible for the vast majority of these acts, yet only eight people were charged. Professor Sanford was a research consultant for the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation Report to the Guatemalan Truth Commission in 1998.

In this podcast, she shares a survivor's story and discusses the political aspect of these crimes that still haunts the country today. Professor Sanford spoke in Korea recently on the 60th Anniversary of the JeJu April Third Uprising.