40% of the indigenous people had no access to health care, and 60% had no access to safe drinking water.
Education in rural areas was non-existent, with the result that 50% of the people were illiterate.
Half of the country's children suffered from malnutrition.
The real power in Guatemala was in the hands of the Army, and that power had been used to violently control the people, resulting in the worst human rights record in the hemisphere.
Guatemala had been headed by military dictators and figurehead-presidents and was run by an oligarchy of wealthy landowners and big business interests that reaped the country's agricultural and commercial rewards at the expense of the rest of the population.
On coffee plantations, peasants, descendants of the ancient Maya, had lived in concentration camp-like conditions, as de facto slaves.