Former Guatemalan dictator facing trial

 

According to the New York TIMES and other media, ex-military dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt is being tried for his role in attacks against indigeneous people that took more than 200,000 lives over three decades. It is justice that many people thought would never happen. Although a United Nations Truth Commission documented at least 7000 of these deaths, the report of the Commission resulted in no action. Ríos Montt was protected from prosecution because he was a legislator, and when he became president he stacked the judiciary in his favor.

 

In 2010 the Guatemalan Judiciary changed its policies and brought charges against various members of the high military command, and some were convicted. Now it is the turn of Ríos Montt. The Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation has meticulously identified thousands of victims of what is now considered a genocide.

 

Some of these atrocities are documented in the video produced by the Community of Friends in Action, “Why I Am Here/Porque Estoy Aquí.”

 

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