This from our friends at the Central America Women’s Network (CAWN)
A military detachment was placed in the Sepur Zarco community located in the Polochic area, where, since the colonial times, there was demand for land by indigenous communities. The guerrilla forces were not very active. Instead the strong military presence there illustrates the alliance between the army and the economic elites and land-owners to dominate the communities and to ensure that land was expropriated from them.
For six years (1982-1986), the function the Sepur Zarco military detachment was to provide leisure and rest to the troops. Captured women from the indigenous communities, mainly widows after their husbands were forcibly disappeared, were forced to serve the troops, washing the soldiers’ clothes, cooking and feeding them, and serving them sexually.
The fact that the women were organized in shifts in military detachments, provided with contraception to avoid getting pregnant as a result of the rapes and that sexual violence was also used as torture to obtain information, proves that the sexual violence was planned and administratively organized by the army. Women’s bodies were used to send messages of terror to whole communities. The planning proves that these events did not take place in isolation.
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