A search for the remains of the indigenous children who were believed to be killed in a massacre during the civil war in Guatemala was suspended due to security reasons. Civil organisations said on Tuesday that the search was suspended as the local residents of the village of Chiul, opposed their plans.
The children killed in the massacre that took place in the 1980s are believed to be buried secretively in a place where the military troops camped during the war era. The villagers of Chiul have not provided an explanation for their opposition which led to the suspension of the exhumation plans indefinitely.
The village of Chiul is situated 200 kilometres away from Guatemala City, where the exhumation was scheduled to start early on Tuesday. Diego Rivera, leader of ASOMOVIDNQ victims’ association, told the reporters that there was no new date for resuming the exhumation process due to the security threat. He blamed the authorities’ lack of coordination for the disruption of plans.
Arnulfo Oxlaj, one of the survivors of the massacre was present at the site on Tuesday. He said that among the people who opposed the excavation plans, were former soldiers who were members of the armed forces. The country’s military was accused of the execution of the massacre, even though the allegations were not confirmed.
The massacre that targeted the Mayan population of the country occurred on 21st May 1988, during the civil war. It took place in the remote areas of Chiul, where the indigenous community lived.
Oxlaj stated that 116 children who were aged between 2 and 15 were separated from their parents after being brought to the military garrison along with the parents. They were tortured and thrown in to a well to drown inside the facility.
There are no official records that reveal the number of children killed in the massacre. The motivation behind the killings were also not known due to the lack of official records. The Guatemala military had been accused of carrying out a genocide campaign against the indigenous community during the war.