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Fall/ Winter 2001

GUATEMALA
Exhuming the past

Winner of the 2002 New California Media Awards
Best Photo Essay

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Photo, Paul Myers, El Andar


© 2001 El Andar Magazine

 

 
In Guatemala, the indigenous Mayan community was targeted by the military, government- created civilian patrols and the guerrillas during thirty-six years of civil war that officially ended with the signing of "a firm and lasting" set of peace accords in 1996. This civil war was defined by three waves of terror that displaced one million people and relulted in over 100,000 deaths, 83% Mayan people. The base of Mayan society was decimated with more than 300 villages completely destroyed during the 1982-83 campaign. Today many groups are demanding historical clarification as part of the reconciliation process.
The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG) is among the organizations leading the exhumation of the more than 700 registered sites in the country, a process that is estimated to take ten years to complete.