Guatemala Court Orders Former Dictator Efrain Rios Montt to Stand Trial on Charges of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

by Colonel on January 28, 2013

“A Guatemalan court ordered 86-year-old former dictator Efrain Rios Montt on Monday to face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, throwing out 13 appeals presented by his defense.

A judge found sufficient proof linking Rios Montt, who ruled during a particularly bloody period of the country’s 36-year civil war, to the killing of more than 1,700 indigenous people in a counterinsurgency operation in 1982 and 1983.

Prosecutors allege Rios Montt, who ruled as commander-in-chief for 17 months, turned a blind eye as soldiers used rape, torture and arson against leftist insurgents and targeted indigenous people during a ‘scorched earth’ military offensive that killed at least 1,771 members of the Ixil tribe.

Rios Montt was ordered to trial in January 2012 for the same alleged crimes, but his defense team stalled the process with a series of appeals.

” — Mike McDonald, Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters

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