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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 63 / 153

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Before the reforms were cut short by the resistance of land-owners, factions within the military, and a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored invasion, Guatemalan governments made a concerted effort to integrate the Indian into national life.

At the time some Indians who lived in close proximity to large urban centers such as the capital, Guatemala City, learned that their vote had the power to effect changes to their benefit.

Since this time Indians have on occasion challenged state policies that they have considered inequitable and repressive. But if they become too insistent on change, threaten violence or societal upheaval, or support and/or join guerrilla groups, government repression is usually swift and merciless.

 Indigenous peoples in Guatemala have suffered most of the combat-related casualties and repeated abuses of their basic human rights and there remains a pervasive discrimination against Indians within ladino society.

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