In this article, the development of the organization the Guatemala Scholars' Network (GSN) is reviewed and set in the context of the history of the period, and its interactions with similar organizations are outlined as these groups responded to the evolving crisis in Central America. The Guatemala Scholars' Network was organized in the early 1980s in response to the reports of genocidal attacks on Maya villages by the Guatemalan Army. What had begun as a more confined, dirty war against opponents of the military oligarchy (reporters, political opponents, labor leaders, mostly urban people murdered in the cities) erupted into full-scale war against a civilian population believed to be supporting an armed insurgency against the military state. That violence and the war that followed produced not only the enormous cost of destruction, death, genocide, and flight to safety in Guatemala, but also gave rise to a two decade collaborative effort on the part of anthropologists, other academics, and people whose work involved them in the lives of ordinary Guatemalans.

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