Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala by Victoria Sanford (auth.)

By Victoria Sanford (auth.)

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Extra info for Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala

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Teeth breaking. The water cold, almost frozen. Moving. Rocks bloodied. Everything hurts. The body is thrown to shore. Crumpled. Empty. The river carries away the evidence. Washes the pain off the rocks. Carries it down through the valley, where women collect drinking water and children bathe. A child finds a tooth and tosses it to shore, where it turns into sand. The tooth is lost, forgotten. A missing part of the landscape of the scarred face. Its absence, like the empty army camp, a reminder of terror.

I told her there was nothing so valuable that it was worth her being frightened. “No,” she said. “Let’s go to Tzalbal. They will be waiting and they want to tell their stories. They have no one to talk to. They will be disappointed if we don’t arrive. ” I asked her what would happen if the young man who knew her uncle or one of the other men said she had been in the camp. ” IN TZALBAL The layout of Tzalbal suggested the same temporal quality that both the UN and URNG camps possessed. It seemed as though the area had been randomly cleared of trees to create space for makeshift housing construction.

I discuss the four phases of the FAFG’s forensic anthropology investigation and interface it with massacre survivors’ experiences and the Guatemalan court system. Through Plan de Sánchez massacre survivor testimonies, I also begin the history of exhumations in Guatemala. In “The Silencing of Maya Women,” chapter two, I explore the political consciousness, self-representation, and action of Maya women on the one hand and their continued exclusion from “official” local and na- INTRODUCTION 27 tional politics on the other.

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