PBI-Guatemala accompanies the National Day of Dignity for Victims of the Internal Armed Conflict

Published by Brent Patterson on

On February 26, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted on its Facebook page: “#PBI accompanies survivors and families of victims on the National Day of Dignity of Victims of Internal Armed Conflict in Guatemala.”

Sandra Cuffe reports in Al Jazeera: “Indigenous survivors and relatives of victims marched on Thursday [February 25] in Guatemala City to commemorate the National Day of Dignity for Victims of the Internal Armed Conflict, demanding the government uphold its commitments to peace and justice.”

“A civil war between socialist guerrilla forces and the Guatemalan military from 1960 to 1996 left an estimated 200,000 people dead and another 45,000 people disappeared. More than 80 percent of victims were Indigenous Maya civilians.”

“Military forces were responsible for 93 percent of killings, according to a United Nations-backed truth commission.”

“The Commission for Historical Clarification determined state actors committed acts of genocide, and Guatemalan courts have since come to the same conclusion.”

Cuffe adds: “The commission presented its report on February 25, 1999, and the date was later recognised as the annual day of dignity for victims.”

Indigenous Maya K’iche human rights defender Rigoberta Menchu told Cuffe: “This day carries so much meaning. It honours our dead. For many, many years we have struggled for the recognition of victims.”

PBI-Guatemala accompanied Menchu in the late 1980s. Green Left Weekly notes: “Menchu credits PBI with her survival in Guatemala, because of their work in escorting her around under threat of the regime’s death squads.”

PBI-Canada extends its solidarity to the survivors and the families of the victims of the internal armed conflict and genocide in Guatemala. 

Photo: Rigoberta Menchu accompanied by PBI volunteer Liam Mahony (in white shirt) in Guatemala in 1988. Photo by Marlyse Gehret.

Categories: News Updates


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