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Guatemala    CHURCH SAYS ARMY 'SEIZED CHILDREN'
The Catholic church in Guatemala has accused the country's army of kidnapping hundreds of Mayan Indian children during the country's brutal 36-year civil war which ended peacefully in 1996.
    Releasing a 200-page report on Monday, the Church's human rights office said that more than 400 cases of kidnappings had been documented so far, but the final figure could rise as more information is collected.
    The army is blamed for more than 90% of the kidnappings, while left-wing guerrillas that fought to overthrow the government are blamed for only 2%.
    In 1998, a United Nations-supported truth commission recommended the establishment of a government committee to investigate such practices by the warring sides.
    The new report is the first hard evidence that many children were in fact not killed along with other villagers, but rather taken away by the soldiers to unknown destinations. Based on interviews done with the families of 86 missing children, the Church's document suggests that there could be hundreds more.
    BBC
   
9 Aug 00



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