El Movimiento

Nebaj, Quichè - Guatemala 2002

Picking up the Pieces

>>> Versiòn Espagñol

Photo Essay by Klaus Schoenwiese

The interviews you are about to read are the voices of only a handful: Hundreds of thousands Guatemalan Indigenous People were victimized during 36 years of a bloody Civil war. Operating extensively in isolated and remote areas of the Guatemalan highlands, the Guatemalan army went practically unchecked by a polarized public and its invariably corrupt governments.

While presumably going after leftist rebel forces who were challenging the government over the grave social injustices suffered by a dispossessed rural population, the army inflicted atrocities onto vast numbers of Mayan civilians.

Finally - bowing to the rising International pressure and the withdrawal of US-military aid to the government, a peace accord was signed on the 29th of December 1996, in wich both parties committied themselves to work together towards peace and economic reconcilliation in Guatemala.

Addressing the needs and losses of those who suffered most should have been the clear priority of any peace agreement. Only that - the same political forces responsible for atrocities of the past continue to shape the present political landscape of Guatemala. Once again the Indigenous population find themselves sidelined, with little help given in picking up the pieces of their shattered past...

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