Cambodian Genocide

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Jessica LeVasseur
Anthropology of Crime
Kandel
October 26, 2012
Cambodian Genocide
Cambodia, a southeastern Asian country, has endured many feats in history and has often been conquered but never has it seen such a devastation as heinous as in the year 1970. With a population of roughly 7 million people at the time, almost all Cambodians prior to genocide practiced Buddhism. The country was reigned by France for nearly 100 years and finally gained independence in 1953. Cambodia then became a constitutional monarchy when Prince Sihanouk took place as king. After much struggling to keep his land independent from other countries, Sihanouk was deposed in a military coup involving Prime Minister General Lon Nol. This caused the Vietnamese communists that lived partially in Cambodia to form a rebellious group called the Khmer Rouge. Invasions seemed never ending for the country, as Sihanouk was unable to regain his power as king. Tension between Lon Nol’s government and Khmer Rouge had risen to an all time high until Khmer Rouge gained complete power of the country in 1975 and the official name was even changed to Democratic Kampucha. What we know today as called Cambodia became a hostile and very dangerous place to live, as it was basically war grounds for the Vietnamese war.

Overthrown by Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, Cambodians were forced to follow an organized extremist program to simulate Maoist communism. All laws and rights previously cherished by the country were aborted and Pol Pot’s plan was to annihilate traditional Cambodian society. People whose families had lived in Cambodia for countless generations were suddenly forced on extremely short notice to flee their homes. The Khmer Rouge ruthlessly murdered any person on the spot if they refused to leave their homes or even took too long to leave. Those who didn’t obey orders were shot. Babies, sick children, the elderly and disabled people were also shot for not being able to leave soon...
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