The Maya Genocide

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The Genocide of the Maya The Maya civilization has accounted for the preponderance of the Guatemalan population since the tenth century; however, since the arrival of the Spaniards in the sixteenth century, they have always been an underprivileged majority. The discrimination against the Maya is evident throughout the history of Guatemala, specifically the genocide of the Maya that occurred during 1981-1983. The genocide of the Maya population demonstrates how genocide is a prevailing issue characterized by the dehumanization, injustice, decimation, and incrimination of a certain race and that all nations and their peoples are responsible for obviating. The genocide of the Maya that transpired during the sixteenth century…show more content…
The Guatemalan government both maintained and supported the belief that the Maya population was culturally and racially inferior. Moreover, they extrapolated that the Maya were an indolent and savage people that were culpable for nationwide poverty (Combat). Consequently, the Maya people began to demonstrate political, cultural, and socioeconomic opposition towards the government. The Guatemalan government promptly hyperbolized the severity of this opposition so that it appeared as a direct threat to the wellbeing of Guatemala and the authority of the government (Combat). The government even asserted, without corroboration, that the Maya were helping insurgents in the civil war and therefore were enemies of Guatemala (Navarro). By both associating the Maya with economic failure and presenting them as revolutionaries, the government felt vindicated in sending Guatemalan forces to kill the Maya. The outcome was an “aggressive, racist and extremely cruel nature of violations that resulted in the massive extermination of defenseless Mayan communities” (Navarro). This description delineates the exceedingly murderous incidents of genocide, which leaders justify by attributing the blame with the victims and…show more content…
Over the course of two years, 1981 to 1983, 200,000 Maya were killed and treated as subhuman beings. The extermination was comprised of 626 distinct massacres of Maya villages and the eradication of five different Maya tribes (Combat). Additionally, more than a million Maya were displaced from their land under the allegation that the Maya farmed primitively and thus did not work the land properly. The government further accused the Maya to be the reason for the paucity of food. After having been removed from their homes, many Maya died of starvation and disease, unable to preserve their culture (Combat). Other atrocities of the genocide were the rape of 100,000 women and extrajudicial killings, which is the murder of a person by governmental authorities without legal permission. Primarily targeted at the indigenous people, extrajudicial killings were the cause of as many as 10,000 deaths during the extermination period. These killings, along with arbitrary arrests and detentions, were ignored by the police, despite being illegal activity (Lewis). This sort of maltreatment underscores how the Maya were unjustly abused and senselessly murdered by the government and further still, blamed for their own

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