The 36 years of internal armed conflict (1960-1996) in Guatemala left 1.5 million displaced people and 200,000 people killed in more than 669 massacres. It also left 45,000 people missing. The most intense period of the conflict was in the years 1978 to 1984. The great majority of the victims are of Mayan ethnicity.
Today the survivors seek to know the whereabouts of the relatives who are still missing. And they seek recognition from the state.
Within the military zone 21 (Creompaz), Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, the remains of 565 people have been exhumed (2012-2015). To date, 147 of them have been identified comparing their DNA with that of living relatives.
The investigations show that the people found were taken by members of the army to be tortured, murdered and buried between 1981 and 1988.
In January 2016, 14 people, high military commanders and those responsible for military zone 21 were arrested in the years that the crimes were committed. Today they are retired. Several of them are fugitives from justice. The legal process is continually delaying and being hindered.
The people who appear in this video have had family members among the skeletons identified in Creompaz, continue searching for missing relatives in the area or have had first-person experiences in the military zone 21.
This documentary has been possible thanks to the support of Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM)
Translation from Q’eqchi’ to Spanish: Miguel Ángel López Pop
Edition: Américo Voltio, Amnesia Visions
Special thanks to the people who have shared their experiences.
Eliseo López Laj
Fransisco Chub Choc
Fransisco Gue Xoy
Reginalda de Bernandina López Laj