PBI-Guatemala observes march on the National Day of Dignity for the Victims of the Armed Conflict
On February 24, PBI-Guatemala posted:
Today we observe the March for Dignification of Victims of Armed Conflict.
This day is commemorated because on February 25, 1999, the Report of the Commission for Historical Clarification was presented. The Commission was established through one of the Peace Agreements, the Oslo Agreement of June 23, 1994, to clarify with all objectivity, equity and impartiality the violations of human rights and acts of violence that have caused suffering to the Guatemalan population.
Emisoras Unidas further reports:
“A march for the National Day of Dignity of the Victims of the Armed Conflict toured the Historic Center on Friday. The aforementioned commemoration is given on February 25 of each year in tribute to the survivors and to dignify the memory of those who lost their lives.
Various organizations, collectives and individuals gathered in front of the Palace of Justice of Guatemala, in zone 1 of the capital, where they carried out a Mayan ceremony, among other activities to honor the victims.
From that point, those present began a mobilization that passed in front of the headquarters of the Congress of the Republic and the Presidential House, until concluding in the Plaza de la Constitución.
They demand dignified reparation for the victims.
The Mutual Support Group (GAM) noted that, on the National Day of Dignity of Victims of Conflict, families seek to express their opposition to policies for oblivion and impunity.
“We will continue to demand memory, truth and justice for all,” the entity said.
Meanwhile, Miguel Itzep, of the Executive Committee of the National Platform of Victims’ Organizations, said that those who participated in the mobilization arrived in the capital from different points, including Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Quiché, Chimaltenango, Suchitepéquez and Escuintla.
He added that, in addition to this walk, from today different activities began in the interior of the country within the framework of this date.
“Our people, the victims of the conflict, are also there commemorating, but also denouncing the refusal of the State and its agencies not to meet the needs of the victims or fulfill the responsibility of reparation,” he said.
He mentioned that the current authorities abandoned the victims and, in turn, are compensating the ex-military who, in his words, are responsible for what happened in the internal war.”
And Prensa Comunitaria notes:
“The streets of the Historic Center were the scene of the march for the National Day for the Dignity of the Victims of the Armed Conflict that is commemorated every February 25, which was used by the survivors to send a message to the candidates of the 2023 electoral contest, with the filing of an amparo against Zury Ríos, daughter of the coup leader Efraín Ríos Montt.
Feliciana Macario, a member of the National Platform of the Victims of the Armed Conflict, told Prensa Comunitaria that Guatemala’s Political Constitution does not allow daughters and sons and relatives of coup plotters to be candidates for the presidency or be elected.
For us it is an action that goes against the dignity of the surviving families of the Internal Armed Conflict (CAI), said Macario.”
The internal armed conflict (that started in November 1960) killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced more than one million people by the time of the Peace Accords of December 1996. 45,000 people are still unaccounted, including 5,000 children.
The conflict between state military forces and guerilla combatants was underpinned by the poverty, marginalization and racism against Indigenous peoples.
The United Nations-backed Commission for Historical Clarification determined that the Guatemalan military was responsible for 93 per cent of the atrocities – including forced disappearances, massacres and torture – and that 83 per cent of the victims were Indigenous Maya peoples.
The Commission concluded that acts of genocide occurred during the war.