Guatemala - Ixil Genocide

Winners 2015

Daniele Volpe

Daniel Volpe was born in 1981 in Italy. He currently lives in Guatemala working as a photojournalist. His works usually cover issues related to human rights abuse and social challenges in Latin America.

In 2012 he published his photobook - 'Beneath a Common Sky'.

In 2015 Mr. Volpe won the 2nd Prize as Photographer of the Year in Latin America. He also was awarded with numerous prizes  and took part in a number of photography festivals.

He received a Diploma on Visual Storytelling and New Media graduating from a 12-month training course sponsored by Fundación Pedro Meyer and World Press Photo in Mexico. He took part in workshops facilitated by Rodrigo Abd, Ron Haviv, Luis González Palma, Alejandro Castellote and Cia de Foto. His works have been  published by The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America, The Guardian, El Periodico, Il Reportage, Makeshift, 6 Mois and other media.

2 place
The Compromise
2015

Guatemala - Ixil Genocide

In the early eighties, the Ixil Community was one of the principal targets of a genocide operation, involving systematic rape, forced displacements and hunger during the Guatemalan civil war. According to a 1999 United Nations truth commission, between 70 and 90% of Ixil villages were razed and 60% of the population in the highland region was  forced to flee to the mountains. By 1996, it was estimated that some 7,000 Maya Ixil had been killed. The violence was particularly heightened during the period 1979-1985 as successive Guatemalan administrations and the military pursued an indiscriminate scorched earth policty. Jose Efrain Rios Montt, who ruled Guatemala for nearly seventeen months during 1982 and 1983, was on trial in Guatemala City for genocide and crimes against humanity. He was charged with orchestrating 1,771 deaths and the forced displacement of 29,000 people in the Ixil region. After more than 30 years he was found guilty of genocide and sentenced to 80 years in prison. Only ten days after a trial court issued its historic verdict, Guatemala's Constitutional Court overturned the verdict and restarted the trial. However, the trial was an important milestone in holding political and military leaders accountable for international crimes.

For Guatemalans, it is hoped that the trial  will also contribute to an accurate historical account of the gross human rights violations committed during the civil war, in a process that will reinforce the country's young democracy.

 Many survivors are still searching for the remains of relatives who has been killed during civil war. Exhumations make up an important part of the process of  gathering evidence of civilian massacres in Guatema. s. Forensic inquiry tres to help survivors cope with grief by allowing them   to give a dignified burial to their loved ones.