Guatemala: The Maya in the Military's Worldview of Counterinsurgency

John D. Early

in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813040134
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043838 | DOI:
Guatemala: The Maya in the Military's Worldview of Counterinsurgency

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Guerrilla warfare in the Maya area began in the late 1970s, reached a climax in 1980–82, and continued with low intensity until 1996 when peace accords were signed. Catholic groups were a special target of the counterinsurgency. As a result of the army's two phases of counterinsurgency, the 100% solution and the ashes campaign, there were an estimated 190,000 deaths, of whom 90 percent were Maya. Various government forces were responsible for 93% of the deaths, the guerrillas for 3%, and unknown for 4%. Of the government forces, the army alone inflicted 85% of the deaths. Many deaths at the hands of the army were preceded by torture and rape.

Keywords: counterinsurgency; 100% solution; ashes strategy; number of deaths

Chapter.  4755 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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