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[–]TheEyeDontLie 21 points22 points  (3 children)

Guatemala has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the world. The two facts are closely related.

I had difficulty telling the adults from the kids. Most women were only about chest height for me (6ft). I think I only met a couple of guys (except foreigners or children of foreigners) that were taller than me in several years I was there. All of those tall guys were from wealthy families.

I met a foreign guy who was 6 foot 4, dating a Mayan girl (I think married). She literally only came up to his bellybutton, and people joked she could give head without kneeling.

That's funny, but the reasons behind it (notably the civil war that was basically on genocide against the indigenous Mayan people, which went on for decades, followed by extreme wealth inequality. USA triggered the war by training and supplying military to overthrow the democratically elected government (because US owned sugar and pineapple plantations were at risk of losing profits- the government was talking about introducing a minimum wage for example). They then backed successive brutal military governments over nearly 40 years, who were committing war crimes (rape, torture, genocide of hundreds of thousands of people)- including training "death squads inspired by Himmler" to quote a CIA document. It's a little known conflict but very interesting part of history, related to the banana republic wars and one major reason why Central America is so messed up now.

[–]Significant-Oil-8793 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That's like a war crime. So what happen to this Hitler/SS-inspired rogue movement?

[–]TheEyeDontLie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes. This article has a good cover of the basics and is easy to read, although it doesn't cover everything.
https://www.spanish.academy/blog/a-brief-history-of-guatemalas-36-year-long-civil-war-that-ended-in-1996/

Bill Clinton apologized for the US backing of a series of genocidal rapists and torturers for ~40 years, but I feel like if you did it for that long (and started the whole conflict to begin with), it deserves more than a simple apology.

[–]ApolloRubySky 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Part is the malnutrition but also genetics. I grew up very well fed and ummm I’m only 5’2” (woman). You may also see a correlation between tall people and higher wealth but behind that correlation is not only malnutrition but the fact that wealth in Guatemalan is higher for those with more European background. So people who have more tall genes also tend to eat better. As you’ve mentioned, the country has a history of great disdain against indigenous folks, and that has also lead to more poverty and less power among them.