Essay Example. Maya Mam Population Experience With War

Published: 2023-04-05
Essay Example. Maya Mam Population Experience With War
Type of paper:  Literature review
Categories:  Racism American Civil War Population
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 624 words
6 min read

Several causes lead to wars, which, in extreme cases, may graduate even to genocide. The Guatemalan genocide is one of the many historical battles that came about several factors and affected many people. Some of the leading causes of the war being greed, power and racisms, and censorship. This war led to the oppression of the Guatemalan population, who at the time mainly consisted of the Mayan people. The Mayan war had not been recognized as genocide until thirty years later, after the war(Oetta, 2006). This is because, on the review of the war, about eighty-three percent of the victims of the war were the Mayan people.

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During the time, the Mayan people, having no land, were made to be slaves. Business people would pay taxes and take away the area from the Mayan people and make them work for nothing. They were oppressed, and some would even be killed. The rates of oppression rose, especially in the farms. The government would finance this since they were after power and greed.

The Mayan people could not tolerate the oppression they were facing and, therefore, organized themselves into groups. They begin to protests using guerrilla. The police sought out the people who lead them and would be killed. Often, they would raid villages, and anyone suspected to be supporting the Guerrilla would be killed, ranging from women, men, and children. There was no hope for the Mayan people since the war was being sponsored by the governed through a censorship program that was viewed as a democracy by the outside world.

During the war, the Mayan people were joined by the Guerillas, who explained to them that the government and the forces were massacring them because of complaining of the injustice. Women and even children participated in the war against their oppressors (Oglesby & Ross, 2009). The United States government under Regan funded the Guatemalan government against the Mayan people, terming them enemies of progress.

The Mayan was displaced by the Ladinos at the time so that the Ladinos could create enough land for coffee (Calvo, 2017). This is because the production of coffee was picking at this very moment. The Mayan people, in collaboration with other communities, protested and, thus, was the beginning of the war since their land was being taken. On top of it, their people were being oppressed. The government treated them as the lowest strata in the country, and not only was they reaped off their ancestral land but also made to work as unpaid slaves in the coffee plantation.

During the war, the government divided the region into communities that would be pinned with a colored pin. Three colonels planned to eliminate those who were termed to disturb the government, mainly the guerrillas. Rios Monte is the one who spearheads the strategies based o psychological warfare and development programs( Chamarbagwala, & Moran, 2011). The separation into communities brought about ethnicity during the war.

In conclusion, the Mayan people, though not being the only tribe in Guatemala, were the main subjects of the ar. They lost not only their ancestral land but also were forced to work as slaves. The war forced even women and children to join in fighting for their justice. It was this very same war that brought several communities together in collaboration against the injustice which they were going through from the Guatemala government.


Calvo, M. (2017). Coffee and Civil War (Doctoral dissertation, Department of History, Duke University).

Chamarbagwala, R., & Moran, H. E. (2011). The human capital consequences of the civil war: Evidence from Guatemala. Journal of Development Economics, 94(1), 41-61.

Oettler, A. (2006). Guatemala in the 1980s: A Genocide turned into Ethnocide?.

Oglesby, E., & Ross, A. (2009). Guatemala's genocide determination and the spatial politics of justice. Space and Polity, 13(1), 21-39.

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