Guatemala: 25 years later, ‘firm and lasting peace’ is nowhere to be found

W. George Lovell has written, in The Conversation, on the failing of the peace accords to bring a firm and lasting peace, highlighting the legacy of violence, corruption, neo-liberalism, and over exploitation of human and natural resources.

Dec. 29 marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of a peace accord that effectively brought 36 years of armed conflict in Guatemala to an end. When what’s known as the Firm and Lasting Peace Accord was signed, the Guatemalan Civil War was one of the longest, bloodiest conflicts in 20th-century Latin America.

A quarter century later, the peace that was supposed to be “firm and lasting” is anything but. If any peace prevails in Guatemala, it is a peace resembling war.


More than 80 per cent of the civil war casualties were unarmed Indigenous Mayas. A United Nations-backed commission charged the Guatemalan military forces with genocide and held them responsible for 93 per cent of the killings. Guerrilla insurgents, fighting to overthrow the regime, were attributed three per cent of the atrocities.

American anthropologist Victoria Sanford summed up the dire situation following the war this way: if the number of victims kept rising, “more people will die in the first 25 years of peace” than during the country’s brutal civil war, which a UN inquiry documented at more than 200,000.

You can read the full piece, with links and photos, here, Guatemala: 25 years later, ‘firm and lasting peace’ is nowhere to be found.

Categories: Corruption, Environment, Evictions, Femicide, Gender, Genocide, Guatemala, Human Rights, Impunity, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Legal, Migration, Military, Mining, Poverty, Resource Extraction, Violence

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