The guerrilla war in Guatemala like all conflicts has disrupted the lives of thousands of civilians.
SV ZOOM FROM Refugee woman and child walking along road, passing Red Cross tents in San Martin.
CU Armed guard at camp.
GV PAN Refugee tents and families outside tents. (3 SHOTS)
GV Women cooking in compound area. (4 SHOTS)
LV Women doing laundry as children watch. (2 SHOTS)
GV Camp and troops arriving in truck as civilian militia members watch. (4 SHOTS)
GV Refugees outside church with militiamen guarding entrance. (3 SHOTS)
GV Camp and militiamen returning from patrol. (2 SHOTS)
SVs & CUs Soldiers enter compound and guard entrance to refugee camp. (6 SHOTS)
GV Refugee families receiving food supplies from army. (3 SHOTS)
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Background: The guerrilla war in Guatemala like all conflicts has disrupted the lives of thousands of civilians. Official figures show about half a million have been uprooted. In the western province of Chimaltenango, 8,500 peasants who had fled villages which the army believed were supporting rebels, have now left their mountain hideouts. In the last week of October, nearly 2,000 villagers settled in the Choatalum refugee camp run by the army with the help of the Red Cross. Human rights organisations have accused the military of slaughtering thousands of peasants in a bid to destroy the rebels base of support. The government of General Efrain Rios Montt has denied the charges, and announced it is forming a human rights commission. General Montt who came to power in March as head of a three-man junta, and appointed himself president in June, extended a three-month-old national state of siege in September. The state of siege suspends most civil rights, including freedom of the press, and bans any political party activity.