Humans have traveled to many continents and, on countless occasions, have destroyed or attempted to exterminate their own species in the most brutal ways, completely or in groups. Genocide took place in different continents and regions of the world, in different types of civilizations, societies and cultures. It is known that throughout human history, significant mass killings have occurred in Europe, as well as in America, Africa or Asia. There is no particular reason to think that our ancestors differed in the way they confronted and destroyed their enemies. It was almost routine for clans and tribes to carry out "acts of genocide" against their rivals, similar to ancient empires and modern nation-states that waged a genocidal campaign to destroy their imaginary or real enemies. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the different interpretations of the crime of genocide, particularly the specific intent component, by international courts and tribunals, and how this may endanger the punishment and prevention of genocide.