The Earth Scorched


In the aftermath of the destruction, hundreds of communities were forced to abandon their lands.

Thousands of people were either “voluntarily” or forcibly displaced to Nebaj, Chajul, and Cotzal. Other tens of thousands sought refuge in forests and mountains, where they were exposed to continuous military attacks and extremely harsh living conditions, leading many to die of hunger, disease, hyperthermia, and fear.

The CEH estimates that more than 60 percent of the population in the Ixil territory was displaced (3361)10. In 1989, the Guatemalan government calculated that at least ten thousand people were still living in the mountains (3315)11.

According to a study produced by the NGO Cultural Survival in 199012, the discrepancy between recorded and projected population size in the Ixil area for the period between 1981 and 1987 was at the order of fifty thousand missing persons.



    Patterns of forced displacement.

    Source: CEH and CALDH