A bloody day in Guatemala

On January 31, 1980, a number of Guatemalan indigenous people and their allies occupied Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City.  The people were protesting the killing of civilians by the Guatemalan Army.  The protestors selected the Spanish embassy, since the Spanish were sympathetic to their cause.  The Guatemalan police raided the embassy later that day, and destroyed the building in a blaze of flames.   Thirty-six people were killed, including Vicente Menchú, father of Rigoberta Menchú (please see January 9 for information on Rigoberta).  The Spanish Ambassador escaped by jumping out of a window.  The Spanish broke off relations with Guatemala over the tragic incident, which were not restored until 1984.

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