Former Guatemalan dictator Ríos Montt to be tried for genocide

January 28, 2013

GUATEMALA CITY – A Guatemalan judge on Monday ordered the trial of ex-dictator Efraín Ríos Montt on charges of genocide committed against the country’s indigenous population during his 1982-83 regime.

The landmark decision marks the first time that genocide proceedings have been brought in the country over the 36-year civil war that ended in 1996, leaving an estimated 200,000 people dead, according to the United Nations.

Judge Miguel Galvez issued the order to open the trial against Ríos Montt for the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The 86-year-old former dictator, who has been under house arrest for a year, is accused of orchestrating the massacre of more than 1,750 indigenous Ixil Maya people in Quiché department during his time in power.

The former general is known for his “scorched earth” campaign against people the government claimed were leftist rebels but in fact were often members of indigenous Maya communities who were not involved in the conflict.

Ríos Montt, dressed in a gray suit, arrived on time for the hearing. Upon his entry into the courtroom, a small group of retired military men saluted him.

Outside the courthouse in the center of Guatemala City, a group of relatives of victims set up a makeshift altar, where they placed flowers and other offerings, and burned incense.

Indigenous Maya communities make up a majority of the population in rural Guatemala.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)
Pic of the Day
81 views
Pic of the Day
81 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 18, 2019

Isla Nublar, the setting for much of the "Jurassic Park" series, is unfortunately not a real Costa Rican island. Cocos…

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety
Costa Rica
12 views
Costa Rica
12 views

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety

AFP and The Tico Times - April 18, 2019

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it places responsibility with the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro for…

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat
Latin America
28 views
Latin America
28 views

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat

AFP and The Tico Times - April 17, 2019

Venezuela withdrew the diplomatic credential from the Costa Rican chargé d'affaires on Tuesday in retaliation for the country’s acceptance of…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!