The Earth Scorched


The first cases of massacres in the Ixil Triangle took place in 1980 in the surroundings of Chajul, Nebaj, and Cotzal. After 1981, as the focus of political repression shifted from Guatemala City to the western highlands, military operations expanded to wider areas. Violence reached a peak between June 1981 and December 1983 when massacres became widespread.

This map shows the spatial pattern of massacres perpetrated by state security force in the Ixil region in the contexts of the military campaigns Ash 81, Victoria 82, and Firmness 83. It narrates the progressive geographic expansion of state violence that accompanied the intensification of counterinsurgency operations in the western highlands of Guatemala in the early ’80s. 



    Locations of massacres perpetrated by state security forces in the Ixil Triangle. CEH and CALDH reported 90 massacres and 78 deaths by displacement between 1980 and 1983 in the Ixil Triangle region.

    Source: CEH Database, CALDH