Guatemala: Military Attacks Returned-Refugee Community

"It was chaos; the women were crying, the men trembling and it seemed that we were returning to the past, when there were massacres. It was truly worse than a nightmare," said Marcos Hernández, the mayor of the Ixcan municipality.

Hernández was describing a military raid by the Guatemalan Army, which included the use of seven helicopters and an airplane where soldiers wearing ski masks invaded homes threatening to shoot people. Three people are also reported missing. The soldiers were allegedly looking for weapons used by suspected drug traffickers—none were found.

Many people from the community of Ixcan, Quiche fled their homes in the area for Mexico in the 1980’s to escape the massacres, torture and genocide carried out by the government during the country´s civil war.

Minister of Interior, Carlos Vielmann, President Óscar Berger and Minister of Defense, Francisco Bermúdez, all denied allegations of wrong-doing.

In Guatemala, some things never change.

Sources: Rights Action and Prensa Libre