The US National Park Service calls it…
8 Hours that changed the Great Plains forever
In brief, on November 29, 1864 at Sand Creek, Colorado a peaceful non-threatening group of Southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe Native Americans (who believed they were under protection of US forces) were massacred by around 700 of “Colonel John Chivington’s Colorado volunteers”.
Nearly 150 Native Americans were killed by US forces and of those targeted three-fourths were women and children.
The treacherous “Colorado volunteers” hunted down their victims, tortured and mutilated them and set fire to their villages.
Soldiers slashed open a pregnant woman’s belly, one soldier reported, “and took the Cheyenne child out and cut his throat.”
And while this obviously criminal conduct of Chivington and his troops were investigated, the Sand Creek Massacre Foundation points out no criminal charges were brought by the US against him. Instead, a whistleblower who served under Chivington was struck down…
Silas Soule was later also murdered in Denver, but not before writing a graphic letter describing the atrocity to superior officers, gaining attention in Washington D.C.. Despite the ongoing Civil War, three federal investigations followed, in which Soule and other participants testified, resulting in condemnation of Chivington’s actions as an unjustifiable massacre. Cheyenne and Arapaho people honor Silas Soule today, and many say that were it not for his and others’ heroism, many Cheyenne and Arapaho descendants would not be here today.
It is a gruesome history of the US that might seem ancient. However, it also reminds me of what recently was exposed under the Reagan administration, given its documented 1982 brutality towards native Americans.
Reagan’s support led to a fundamentalist Christian taking control of Guatemala in a March 1982 coup d’etat. General Efrain Ríos Montt seized power and announced a policy of “rifles and beans” — either eat beans quietly in obedience to dictatorship or be killed by rifles. In response Reagan described him as “a man of great personal integrity”.
…more than 600 Indian villages in the Guatemalan highlands were eradicated or occupied by the military. The slogan “rifles and beans” meant that pacified communities would get “beans,” while all others would be the target of army “rifles.”