Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/19/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Once-mighty civilization was wiped out by invaders

The once mighty Mayan civilization is enjoying global interest as revelers and doomsday prophets wait Friday, December 21 which marks the end of the 5,200-year era as predicted in the elaborate Mayan calendar. What won't be in discussion is how native Mayans today are now marginalized, and live in abject poverty throughout Mexico and Native America. For the framers of the current purported apocalypse, the world has apparently already ended.

The poverty rate for the indigenous community here is a staggering 80 percent. Mayan descendants accounts for 42 percent of Guatemala's 14.3-million-strong population.

The poverty rate for the indigenous community here is a staggering 80 percent. Mayan descendants accounts for 42 percent of Guatemala's 14.3-million-strong population.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/19/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Maya, genocide, Guatemala, indigenuous people, United Nations, poverty, unemployment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Maya civilization at its peak had one of the richest cultures in the Americas. In Guatemala today, however, where nearly half of the population is indigenous, Maya descendants have fell victims to genocide.

"The indigenous population was always seen as cheap labor and this persists to this day," Guatemalan anthropologist Alvaro Pop says. A member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Pop says that "they are seen as a tool and are not the focus of public policies."

The Maya civilization reached its peak between the years 250 and 900 -- but then slipped into decline around 1200.

During Spanish colonization 300 years later, the Mayas were dispossessed of their lands and reduced to poverty and servitude.

There are currently an estimated 20 to 30 million direct descendants of the ancient civilization today living in southern Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Guatemala is where the largest concentration of Mayan descendants resides today. Ethnic Mayas often find themselves on the margins of society here, with limited access to education, health care and other basic services. Their native languages are not officially recognized.

The poverty rate for the indigenous community here is a staggering 80 percent. Mayan descendants accounts for 42 percent of Guatemala's 14.3-million-strong population.

According to the United Nations Development Program, nearly six in 10 indigenous children suffer from chronic malnutrition, and the infant mortality rate has hit an alarming rate of 40 per 1,000 live births.

Guatemala's civil war that pitted the army against leftist guerrillas from 1960 to 1996 took the heaviest toll against the Mayan population.

"There were external reasons which exacerbated the population's poverty and led to a stigmatization of indigenous people," according to Pop.

In addition, more than 600 massacres of indigenous communities were recorded during that period and tens of thousands of Indians sought refuge in southern Mexico from the brutal counter-insurgency by the military, according to a 1999 United Nations report.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Americas

Please join us in prayer: Zika epidemic in Colombia infects THOUSANDS of pregnant women Watch

Image of Zika continues to spread without signs of slowing (AFP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Reports of Zika's spread have been pouring in at clinics and hospitals around Colombia. Sadly, nearly 32,000 pregnant women have tested positive for the potentially devastating virus. Please join us in a short prayer for healing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On ... continue reading


Slain Mexican baby becomes symbol for nation's neverending gang violence Watch

Image of Grim photographs of this slain Mexican family have circulated widely on social media site (Facebook).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An overwhelming tragedy - the random killing of a seven-month-old baby boy - has been galvanized into a symbol of Mexico's rampant gang violence. Little Marcus Migeul Pano Colon, captured in photographs lying down in a city street riddled with bullets has been widely ... continue reading


HUMAN SACRIFICE: Ancient Peruvian tomb yields bodies of six women killed in rituals Watch

Image of Researchers say that the skeletal remains found at a temple were once part of the Lambayeque culture. Photo courtesy of Museo Tumblas Reales de Sipan.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Archaeologists have uncovered grisly evidence of 1,200-year-old sacrificial rituals in Pre-Inca Peru. The skeletons of six females have been discovered on the former site of a temple. The women's murders were believed ritualistic in nature as their bodies were ... continue reading


Soldiers going 'door to door' to combat deadly Zika virus in Brazil Watch

Image of The Zika virus is linked to microcephaly, where children are born with freakishly small heads. (Getty Images)

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread rapidly throughout Brazil. The virus is linked to the birth defect microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with smaller than normal heads, along with brain damage. The Brazilian government has sent more than 200,000 ... continue reading


Over 7,000 refugees to arrive in America within the next few days Watch

Image of Cuban migrants cross into Texas to reach freedoms promised in America (AP).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thousands of Cuban refugees seek freedom in the United States by traveling through Central America and crossing the Mexico-Texas border. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Over 7,000 Cuban refugees are expected to illegally cross the Mexican border into the United ... continue reading


You'll never guess what was found in El Chapo's weapon cache! Watch

Image of One type of weapon discovered in El Chapo's cache has the power to down a helicopter (exploding helicopter.blogspot).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Authorities discovered a .50 caliber rifle among a massive weapons cache at Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's Mexican hideout. The rifle is so powerful, it can shoot a helicopter from the sky. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Following the recapture of El Chapo, a ... continue reading


Award-winning news station, Al Jazeera America goes belly-up as the price of oil plunges Watch

Image of Al Jazeera America must close its doors as it finds itself unable to keep up in an increasingly digital world (Al Jazeera America).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Award-winning news station Al Jazeera America has won several awards including Best Documentary at the International Emmy Awards and Best Show or Series at the News, Cablefax Digital Awards, but the renowned station is forced to close shop. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Venezuela's First Lady claims DEA kidnapped her nephews when they were caught trafficking drugs Watch

Image of Cilia Flores believes her nephews were kidnapped by the DEA (Alex Guzmn/AVN).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Venezuela's First Lady, Cilia Flores, believes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) committed crimes in her country, including the kidnap of two of her nephews, who were discovered to be drug traffickers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Tuesday Flores ... continue reading


An inside look at El Chapo's tunnel: Sewers, concrete walls and automatic weapons (WARNING: Graphic Photos) Watch

Image of El Chapo's tunnel system kept him well-hidden (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Images have been released days following El Chapo Guzmán's recapture. The pictures feature the tunnel system the drug lord hid in as well as the shot-up condo above, in which five of El Chapo's henchmen were killed, six were arrested and two women were discovered. LOS ... continue reading


Revealing Sean Penn interview led to El Chapo's drug compound raid (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) Watch

Image of Inside El Chapo's lair (Especial).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

With El Chapo Guzmán's arrest came five gruesome deaths of the drug lord's underlings. Mexican marines stormed El Chapo's hiding place and killed five of his lieutenants before arresting six men and the kingpin himself. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Sinaloa ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Stations of the Cross - Series HD Video
  • MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey
  • St. Apollonia: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 09, 2016
  • 10 important things to consider during Lent
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, February 09, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
22 Then, in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5, 10, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a nest to place its ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 7:1-13
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 9th, 2016 Image

St. Apollonia
February 9: St. Apollonia, who died in the year 249, was ... Read More