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Samuel Cumes Pop
Masacre y Destrucción de Mi Pueblo / Massacre and Destruction of My Village

Pastels on Paper - 20 x 14 in.
2010

In this very literal image of slaughter, soldiers have massacred all the men, women, and children— and even the animals of this village. The houses and cornfields are burning down to the ground. The presence of the American flag asserts the responsibility of the U.S. government for funding and organizing the genocidal war in which more than 640 indigenous villages were destroyed. The leaders of the Guatemalan military were trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas.

The artist writes:

On May 29, 1978, in the town of Panzós, the army massacred 37 people of the Q'eqchi' ethnicity in the state of Alta Verapaz in the north of Guatemala. The people were trying to reclaim land that had been taken from them.

On January 6, 1976 in Aldea Semacoch, Alta Verapaz, they massacred four campesinos, also for land.

On November 19, 1981, 47 people accused of being guerrillas were killed, among them men, women and children.

I did not see these events, nor did I participate in them; I've just read about them. There is a great deal of documentation of these facts.