Anika Oettler

Guatemala in the 1980s: A Genocide Turned into Ethnocide?

GIGA Working Paper, No. 19, March 2006

Abstract
While the Guatemalan Truth Commission came to the conclusion that agents of the state had committed acts of genocide in the early 1980s, fundamental questions remain. Should we indeed speak of the massacres committed between 1981 and 1983 in Guatemala as "genocide", or would "ethnocide" be the more appropriate term? In addressing these questions, this paper focuses on the intentions of the perpetrators. Why did the Guatemalan military chose mass murder as the means to "solve the problem of subversion"? In Guatemala, the discourses of communist threat, racism and Pentecostal millenarism merged into the intent to destroy the Mayan population. This paper demonstrates that the initial policy of physical annihilation (genocidal option) was transformed into a policy of restructuring the sociocultural patterns of the Guatemalan highlands (ethnocidal option).

GIGA-Forschung zum Thema

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GIGA AutorInnen

Prof. Dr. Anika Oettler is a professor of sociology at Philipps‐Universität Marburg and an associate researcher at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies. She has published extensively on transitional justice, historical memory, and violence.

Aktuelle Publikationen der AutorInnen

Anika Oettler

Transitional Justice, Recognition, and Authoritative Power

GIGA Working Paper, No. 305, August 2017

Peter Peetz / Sebastian Huhn / Anika Oettler

Zentralamerika: Zum schwankenden Nachrichtenwert von Kriminalität in einer heterogenen Printmedienlandschaft

in: Hanno Bruchmann / Anna Dobelmann / Annika Hartmann / Aylin Kruse / Manuel Schulz / Sarah Helen Sott (eds.), Medien und Demokratie in Lateinamerika, Berlin: Karl Dietz Verlag, 2012, 200-220

Anika Oettler

The Central American Fear of Youth

Journal of International Conflict and Violence, 5, 2011, 2, 261-276

Sebastian Huhn / Anika Oettler / Peter Peetz

Jugendbanden in Zentralamerika – Zur sozialen Konstruktion einer teuflischen Tätergruppe

in: Peter Imbusch (ed.), Jugendliche als Täter und Opfer von Gewalt, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2010, 213-242