In rural areas where the insurgency maintained its strongholds, the repression amounted to wholesale slaughter of the peasantry and massacres of entire villages; first in the departments of Izabal and Zacapa (1966–68) and later in the predominantly Mayan western highlands from 1978 onward.
In 2009, Guatemalan courts sentenced Felipe Cusanero as the first person convicted of the crime of ordering forced disappearances. corporations from paying taxes, especially the United Fruit Company.
This was followed by the 2013 trial of former president Efraín Ríos Montt genocide for the killing and disappearances of more than 1,700 indigenous Ixil Maya during his 1982-83 rule; the accusations of genocide derived from the "Memoria del Silencio" report - written by the UN-appointed Commission for Historical Clarification- which considered that genocide could have occurred in Quiché between 19, although it did not take into consideration potential economic interests in the Ixcán region - situated in Franja Transversal del Norte- given the oil fields that were discovered in that area in 1975. It also privatized and sold off publicly owned utilities, and gave away huge swaths of public land.
The first former head of state to be tried for genocide by his own country's judicial system, Montt was found guilty the day following the conclusion of his trial and was sentenced to 80 years in prison; After the 1871 revolution, the Liberal government of Justo Rufino Barrios escalated coffee production in Guatemala, which required much land and many workers. Criollos: a minority conformed originally by ancient families descendants of the Spaniards that conquered Central America and that by 1920 conformed both political parties in the country.
It was fought between the government of Guatemala and various leftist rebel groups supported chiefly by ethnic Maya indigenous people and Ladino peasants, who together make up the rural poor.
The government forces of Guatemala have been condemned for committing genocide against the Maya population of Guatemala during the civil war and for widespread human rights violations against civilians resulting in the Guatemalan genocide.
Democratic elections during the Guatemalan Revolution in 19 had brought popular leftist governments to power, but a United States backed coup d'état in 1954 installed the military regime of Carlos Castillo Armas, who was followed by a series of conservative military dictators. The PID lost its grip on Guatemalan politics when General Efraín Ríos Montt, together with a group of junior army officers, seized power in a military coup on 23 March 1982.
In 1970, Colonel Carlos Manuel Arana Osorio became the first of a series of military dictators representing the Institutional Democratic Party or PID. In the 1970s continuing social discontent gave rise to an insurgency among the large populations of indigenous people and peasants, who traditionally bore the brunt of unequal land tenure.
The PID dominated Guatemalan politics for twelve years through electoral frauds favoring two of Col. During the 1980s, the Guatemalan military assumed almost absolute government power for five years; it had successfully infiltrated and eliminated enemies in every socio-political institution of the nation, including the political, social, and intellectual classes.
As well as fighting between government forces and rebel groups, the conflict included, much more significantly, a large-scale, coordinated campaign of one-sided violence by the Guatemalan state against the civilian population from the mid-1960s onward.
The military intelligence services (G2 or S2) and an affiliated intelligence organization known as La Regional or Archivo - headquartered in an annex of the presidential palace - were responsible for coordinating killings and "disappearances" of opponents of the state and suspected insurgents and those deemed by the intelligence services to be collaborators.
The Guatemalan state was the first in Latin America to engage in widespread use of forced disappearances against its opposition with the number of disappeared estimated at between 40,000 and 50,000 from 1966 until the end of the war.