die to earn a living, the massacre of panzos – PublicoGT

DYING TO MAKE A LIVING: The Panzós Massacre

Documentary that reconstructs the tragedy experienced by the people of Panzós in their struggle for land, on May 29, 1978.

This documentary has been awarded two prizes: First Place for Professional Documentary at the Second ICARO Video Creation Festival and the Saúl Yelín Prize, awarded by the Latin American Filmmakers Association, at the 21st Festival of New Latin American Cinema, held at the Havana Cuba.

On May 29, 1978, peasant men and women from the communities of Cahaboncito, Panzós, Semococh, Rubetzul, Canguacha, Sepacay, Finca Moyagua and the Soledad neighborhood of Alta Verapaz, demonstrated in front of the Municipality of Panzós, with determination and courage, led by by Mama Maquin. At that moment the army, which was already in the place, began to shoot, killing men, women and children. Likewise, before and after this event, there were several forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions of peasants who were fighting for their lands.

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That day the mayor had summoned them to respond to the demands and resistance of the people regarding the evictions from their lands by farmers, local authorities, and the military in favor of the economic interests of the company Explotaciones Mineras de Izabal -EXMIBAL, in addition to the mining of other minerals by the company Transmetales, SA Another threat at that time were oil exploration and exploitation projects: Exxon, Shenandoah and the Hispanoil and Getty Oil contracts, as well as the need for expansion. territory of two megaprojects of that time: the Northern Transversal Strip and the Chixoy hydroelectric plant.

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This massacre was the beginning of a whole strategy of genocide against the Mayan population promoted by the State of Guatemala during the internal armed conflict, through its repressive forces, these serious crimes still continue in impunity.

Adelina Caal Maquin, known as Mamá Maquin, was assassinated by the Guatemalan army in the Panzós massacre. Mama Maquin was a woman with recognized leadership in the area. She had convening power among the people, who promoted the claim of the land and promoted the cultural activities of the Q’eqchi population.

published by COMMUNICATE Association

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