Search for children killed in Guatemala blocked

In Guatemala, a search is on for the remains of indigenous children that were massacred in in the 1980s civil war.

But on Tuesday search efforts were blocked.

Residents of a Mayan community in the remote village of Chiul - stopped authorities from exhuming remains of more than 100 children believed to be buried in unmarked graves.

Little explanation was offered as to why.

Yet a survivor, Arnulfo Oxlaj, who was at the site on Tuesday said that among the opposition were former members of the country's armed forces which has been accused of carrying out the massacre.

"When I was a child, they tortured me and threw me into a well full of water and army faeces. I emerged from the dead. I am not afraid of death, but before they kill me, in a cowardly way, they will give me the bodies of the others."

He says they want to oppose justice.

Reuters could not independently confirm the allegations by Oxlaj.

A Guatemalan army spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

The massacre, one of many targeting Mayan communities during the civil war, occurred on May 21, 1988.

Witnesses say members of the armed forces captured hundreds of residents and separated the children from their parents.

According to Oxlaj, 116 children between the ages of 2 and 15 were tortured and thrown into what was then a well where they drowned.

However there is no official record of the number of victims or clarity about the motivations behind the killings. The Guatemalan military has been accused of conducting a genocide campaign against indigenous peoples during the conflict.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting