Operation Sofia: Documenting Genocide in Guatemala





The Guatemalan army, under the direction of military ruler Efraín Ríos Montt, carried out a deliberate counterinsurgency campaign in the summer of 1982 aimed a massacring thousands of indigenous peasants, according to a comprehensive set of internal records presented as evidence to the Spanish National Court and posted today by National Security Archive on its Web site. The files on “Operation Sofia” detail official responsibility for what the 1999 UN-sponsored Historical Clarification Commission determined were “acts of genocide against groups of Mayan people.”

The National Security Archive’s Kate Doyle presented the documentation as evidence in the international genocide case, which is under investigation by Judge Santiago Pedraz in Madrid. Ms Doyle testified today before Judge Pedraz on the authenticity of the documents, which were obtained from military intelligence sources in Guatemala. Earlier this year, Defense Minister Gen. Abraham Valenzuela González claimed that the military could not locate the documents nor turn them over to a judge in Guatemala, as ordered by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court in 2008.

After months of analysis, which included evaluations of letterheads and signatures on the documents and comparisons to other available military records, Doyle said, “we have determined that these records were created by military officials during the regime of Efraín Ríos Montt to plan and implement a ‘scorched earth’ policy on Mayan communities in El Quiché. The documents record the military’s genocidal assault against indigenous populations in Guatemala.”



comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list