On May 10th, a Guatemalan court convicted former dictator Efrain Rios Montt of genocide and crimes against humanity for his part in the killing of more than 1700 Ixil Mayans in the early 1980s, during the Guatemalan Civil War. This was the first time that a national court had found one of the country’s own former leaders guilty of genocide.
Yesterday, the Guatemalan Constitutional Court annulled the decision of the Guatemalan tribunal and the 80-year prison sentence imposed on Rios Montt. The Constitutional Court decision calls for Rios Montt to be retried, with proceedings rolled back to their status on April 19th of this year. On April 18th, a former judge in the case had ruled that all proceedings from the time that she was asked to step down from the case were void. Also on April 18th, Rios Montt’s defense team walked out in protest.
Guatemala’s Top Court Overturns Ex-Dictator’s Genocide Conviction, Orders Trial To Resume (Associated Press, Washington Post; May 21, 2013)
Former Leader of Guatemala is Guilty of Genocide Against Mayan Group, by Elisabeth Malkin
New York Times, May 10, 2013
Trial Annulment in Guatemala Rejected by Judge, by Elisabeth Malkin
New York times, April 19, 2013
Corte de Constitucionalidad, Republica de Guatemala
See Resoluciones de Interes
In English and Spanish:
Findings by United Nations Truth Commission (1997 – 1999)
Guatemala: Memory of Silence
Guatemala: Memoria del Silencio