The American Anthropological Association Motion to Create a Task Force on Guatemala

Whereas, on December 4, 1982, the President of the United States has indicated that he will support military aid to Guatemala; and

Whereas, the military government of Guatemala is repressing the population of that country to an unprecedented degree;

Therefore, be it moved that the American Anthropological Association condemn the genocide being perpetuated by the Guatemalan Government, and that it demand that no military aid be given to the Guatemalan Government, and that the AAA make this demand of the US Government in a public forum.

Whereas Amnesty International has estimated that at least 2600 Guatemalans have been killed or disappeared between March and September of this year, mostly in rural areas;

Whereas the Guatemalan Bishops Conference has said that as many as one million persons, mostly Indians, were displaced within the country as of late May;

Whereas estimates of refugees outside the country range from 50 to 200 thousand;

Whereas news reports indicate continuing massive destruction of villages, livestock, crops, and natural resources in the countryside and relocation of thousands of Indians;

Whereas US anthropologists have for several decades studied and worked with the peoples of Guatemala;

Therefore, be it moved that the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association in consultation with the movers of this motion form a Task Force on Guatemala to act until the 1983 Annual Meeting to monitor and investigate the Guatemalan crisis and its impact on peoples within and in refuge from the national territory; report their findings quarterly to the Association; publish these reports without delay in the Anthropology Newsletter; supervise an official team to (a) interview refugees at appropriate sites in order to record eyewitness accounts of the events and circumstances which prompted them to flee and (b) to analyze these accounts and report findings to the Association and to other appropriate bodies in the name of the Association; and to take any other actions in the name of the Association which the Task Force, in consultation with the Executive Board, deems appropriate.

Resolution passed by the American Anthropological Association at its first annual meeting on December 7, 1982 in Washington, DC.

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