Genocide in the service of preserving injustice in Guatemala, 1980s memoir by Rigoberta Menchú

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"From independence in 1821, an event led by the country's elite, an authoritarian state was created that excluded the majority of Guatemalans; it was racist in theory and practice and served to protect the interests of a small, privileged elite.... State violence has been fundamentally aimed against the excluded, the poor, and the Maya, as well as those who struggled in favor of a just and more equitable society.... Thus a vicious circle was created in which social injustice led to protest and subsequently to political instability, to which there were always only two responses: repression or military coups." 25 years after the CIA-backed coup against Guatemala's only democratic government, yet another vicious dictatorship in the early 1980s carried out carefully planned genocide. "Massacres broke the agricultural cycle, leading to hunger and widespread deprivation as refugees hiding in the mountains and lowland jungle scavenged roots and wild plants to survive. A million and a half people, up to 80 percent of the population in some areas, were driven from their homes, with entire villages left abandoned."

Thanks to Kara Andrade and The Nation for bringing her book to my attention.

http://www.thenation.com/print/article/154582/it-was-heaven-they-burned