In the 1970s the Mayans started protesting against the government for equality. From 1978-1986 the peak of the violence against the Mayans in Guatemala were under the regimes of Generals Romeo Lucas Garcia, Efrain Rios Montt, and Oscar Mejia Victores. The Guatemalan army aimed to end the guerilla warfare and targeted the Mayans who they believed were supporting the guerilla movement. Not only was the United States aware of the violation of human rights, but also provided military support to the Guatemalan government.
Cesilia Tujt is a Guatemalan genocide survivor. Her husband was one of the many who "disappeared". When she was pregnant she was arrested and raped by the military. They interrogated her for information about where the guerrillas were hiding and while she was detained she gave birth. The military ended up releasing her from the outpost but she had to live in a village under military control. Life for civilians like Cesilia was very limited and many other women were also victims of sexual violence.
USC Shoah Foundation
In 2013 Efrain Rioss Montt, one of the leaders of the Guatemalan genocide, was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison for being responsible for the massacre and the judge presiding believed he had the intent to the destroy the Mayan ethnic group. During the trial hundreds of victims testified about the torture they endured.Shortly afterwards the conviction was overturned since one of the trial judges was removed from the case. In general the genocide and trial has stirred up a lot of controversy. There are still many that do not believe the massacre constitutes as genocide. Although President Clinton apologized on behalf of the U.S. in 1999 for it's role in the genocide, there has been little else done to acknowledge it.
In February 2016 former military officers Heriberto Valdez Asij and Esteelmer Reyes Giron were convicted for sexual slavery of Mayan women and committing crimes against humanity. They were sentenced to a total of 360 years in prison; 240 years for Heriberto Valdez Asij and 120 years for Esteelmer Reyes Giron. This is a milestone reached in the Guatemalan genocide but there are still many co-conspirators that have yet to be prosecuted, such as political and military figures in the United States.