A long journey of perseverance
A long journey of perseverance. After 36 years of searching, relatives of Mr. Pablo Ixpatá close a cycle of uncertainty.
According to the report of the Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico (CEH), it is estimatedthat between 500,000 and 1.5 million Guatemalans were forced to flee as a direct consequence of the repression.
A part of the displaced people sought to survive, escaping by crossing the border, others sought to preserve their life without leaving the country. Moving to other departments, while many people sought refuge in the mountains and jungles adjacent to their places of residence where they faced subhuman conditions. The CEH, showed in their report that a large number of people died during the scape and displacement, especiallydue to hunger cold, illness, fear and exhaustion (Guatemala Memoria del Silencio, 1998).
Such was the case of Mr. Pablo Ixpatá and his family, who in the presence of armed groups operating in the area where they resided, had to move to another village.
According to testimony collected by FAFG, one day between the months of May and June 1983, Pablo Ixpatá was arrested by armed forces in the San Francisco village, located in San Miguel Chicaj, municipality of Baja Verapaz. Approximately three days later, villagers in the center of Rabinal reported the family they had observed when Mr. Pablo Ixpatá was arrested and taken to the Chitucán village.
When the villagers returned to the place, they found the body of Pablo Ixpatá; So they buried him. It is believed that Mr. Ixpatá was detained for a day and a half before his death. His family never knew how he died.
Years later, the FAFG performed the exhumation of the skeletal remains, taking a bone sample from the recovered body to be compared with the samples from relatives through DNA testing. Based on the analysis of the genetic profiles and the coincidences that were found, it was possible to determine that the remains recovered corresponded to Mr. Pablo Ixpatá Sic.
On September 27, just after several years of searching, his family was finally able to reunite with him. With great emotion, the remains were received by his wife, sister, brother-in-law, daughters and sons, and other relatives, to bury him with dignity. Now they have a place to visit and honor his memory.