Resolution supporting the Museum for the Martyrs of the Union, Student Popular Movement of Guatemala

Maria del Rosario Villatoro holds a portrait of her husband Amancio Samuel Villatoro, kidnapped and disappeared in 1984 by Guatemalan security forces. Photo from daylife.com.

ILPS International Coordinating Committee

On the 28th anniversary of the forced disappearance of Amancio Samuel Villatoro, January 30th, 2012, the Amancio Samuel Villatoro Foundation established its initial project in Guatemala City, the: “Museum for the Martyrs of the Union, Student, and Popular Movement of Guatemala.”

Amancio Samuel Villatoro was born on December 11th, 1936 in Malacatancito, Huehuetenango, Guatemala. He was a peasant, a worker, and a student at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala, where he studied industrial engineering.

He was a good son, a good husband and an exemplary father of three sons[1] and one daughter. He dedicated his entire life to social justice, workers’, peasants’, and indigenous rights, and was an untiring fighter for the human rights of all Guatemalans.

Amancio Samuel Villatoro was the founder and coordinator of the union at the Chiclets Adam’s, a union advisor, and top leader of the National Workers’ Center (CNT) and of the National Committee of Union Unity (CNUS) at the national and international level.

On January 30th, 1984, while leading a labor meeting, he was kidnapped in Guatemala City. It was only in 1999, when after the publication of a Military Diary, or Death Squad Dossier that revealed where he had been tortured and killed that his whereabouts were found and his skeleton was located and identified by the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala (FAFG), along with objects found beside.

These objects along with the skeleton of Amancio Samuel Villatoro are today displayed at this very unique Museum, along with his life story and biography, his participation in the people’s movements, and details about his kidnapping and torture.

But Amancio Samuel Villatoro was not alone. There were thousands of victims like him during the reactionary war against the Guatemalan people. We must remember all of the 183 victims listed in the Death Squad Dossier. This is the Museum’s aim: never letting us forget the historical memory of the 1980s, so that the present and future generations never forget the struggle of thousands of Guatemalans who gave their lives while fighting for a real and true democracy in Guatemala.

The 183 people who appear in this diary of death are featured on the walls of the Museum. It honors their amazing lives and exposes the kidnapping, torture, execution, and disappearance of each of them in detail. It is crucial to remember that each name represents a life, identifying people who had dreams and goals, who had one or more people who were loved by them or who loved them, family members who one day were left waiting for their return home and who still today wait to find their remains to cry for them, give them a dignified burial, and who also wait for and deserve justice.

To this end, be it resolved that:

ILPS members will promote and make known the work and mission of the Museum. In this way ILPS members can help keep alive the story of the Guatemalan people and their struggles, and can assist the Museum in attracting worldwide attention;

The ILPS Secretariat will give an important place to the slide show and other video, photo and written material on the ILPS website, in Spanish and eventually in English and other languages, according to our capacity;

ILPS member organizations, where and when possible, will assist in organizing fund raising events and activities to enable the functioning and expansion of the Museum and its Mandate;

To this end, as a concrete gesture of support, the ICC will donate US$500 to the “Museum for the Martyrs of the Union, Student, and Popular Movement of Guatemala.”

Approved by the International Coordinating Committee
of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle
March 11, 2012


[1] Amancio Samuel Villatoro is the father of ICC member Nestor Villatoro.

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