Sara Holmgren

Location: Barcelona, Spain
Nationality: Swedish
Biography: After graduating in Political Sciences in Umeå, Sweden, self-employed documentary photographer Sara Holmgren left Sweden to work as an international observer with The Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SweFOR) in collaboration with... read on
Public Story
Voces de Creompaz
Copyright Sara Holmgren 2022
Updated Feb 2021

The 36 years of internal armed conflict (1960-1996) in Guatemala left 1.5 million displaced people and 200,000 people killed in more than 669 massacres. It also left 45,000 people missing. The most intense period of the conflict was in the years 1978 to 1984. The great majority of the victims are of Mayan ethnicity.

Today the survivors seek to know the whereabouts of the relatives who are still missing. And they seek recognition from the state.

Within the military zone 21 (Creompaz), Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, the remains of 565 people have been exhumed (2012-2015). To date, 147 of them have been identified comparing their DNA with that of living relatives.

The investigations show that the people found were taken by members of the army to be tortured, murdered and buried between 1981 and 1988.

In January 2016, 14 people, high military commanders and those responsible for military zone 21 were arrested in the years that the crimes were committed. Today they are retired. Several of them are fugitives from justice. The legal process is continually delaying and being hindered.

The people who appear in this video have had family members among the skeletons identified in Creompaz, continue searching for missing relatives in the area or have had first-person experiences in the military zone 21.

This documentary has been possible thanks to the support of Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM)

Translation from Q'eqchi' to Spanish: Miguel Ángel López Pop

Edition: Américo Voltio, Amnesia Visions

Special thanks to the people who have shared their experiences: 

Casilda López, Consuelo López, Edmundo Choc, Eliseo López Laj, Fransisco Chub Choc, Fransisco Gue Xoy, Lorenza Caal, Reginalda de Bernandina López Laj


Also by Sara Holmgren —


The Xamán massacre

By Sara Holmgren / alta verapaz guatemala — In the 36 years of Guatemala's internal armed conflict, some 1.5 million people were displaced. On October..

Las abuelas de Sepur Zarco

By Sara Holmgren / Sepur Zarco,Guatemala — "We have come to tell the truth and we have told the truth. We have heard the accused refuse to accept what..

Mi nombre No es XX

By Sara Holmgren / Acul, Nebaj, Guatemala — Almost four decades of internal armed conflict (1960-1996) left Guatemala with 200,000 killed in at least..


By Sara Holmgren / Cobán, Guatemala — In recent years, Guatemala is facing both the challenges of the present and the crimes of the past. The..

Life retaken

By Sara Holmgren / Guatemala city — "In my pre-university education, they did not show me the true history of my country. I confronted it..

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