Guatemala to attempt extra former prime army officers for Maya genocide

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GUATEMALA CITY (Information) – Guatemala’s human rights prosecutor on Friday indicted one other former prime army official for genocide and crimes towards humanity dedicated through the bloodiest section of the Central American nation’s 36-year civil warfare.

A army operations chief underneath deceased Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, Luis Enrique Mendoza Garcia can be tried in March for his position in an operation within the early 1980s that killed at the very least 1,771 Maya Ixil and displaced hundreds.

Decide Jimmy Bremer on Friday formally acquired the fees the prosecutors introduced towards the 76-year-old in a courtroom in Guatemala Metropolis.

Mendoza Garcia is the fourth prime army official dealing with justice in lower than per week after Benedicto Lucas Garcia, Manuel Callejas and Cesar Noguera have been indicted in a separate case of genocide towards the identical group.

“I used to be not the one who dominated,” Mendoza Garcia mentioned in a declaration given by video convention, including that he had had no means to plan or perform such an operation. Information was unable to contact the accused, all of whom have denied the allegations.

Mendoza Garcia was captured six months in the past after having been on the run since 2011. Guatemala’s human rights prosecutor mentioned there have been extra victims and witnesses who might testify towards him than in different processes.  

Former army intelligence chief Jose Mauricio Rodriguez was acquitted final 12 months of fees of genocide and crimes towards humanity after the courtroom mentioned it had inadequate proof.

Throughout the civil warfare, from 1960 to 1996, an estimated 200,000 principally Mayan civilians have been killed and one other 45,000 went lacking.

Rios Montt, who dominated through the warfare’s bloodiest section, between 1982 and 1983, died in April final 12 months. At the moment, he was dealing with renewed fees after his conviction for genocide and crimes towards humanity was overturned.

Lucas Garcia is the brother of former president Romeo Lucas Garcia. Guatemala’s human rights prosecutor accuses him of getting deliberate one of many operations within the Maya Ixil area some 225km northwest of the capital.

Individually on Friday, Guatemalan President-elect Alejandro Giammattei regretted the choice of a Swiss courtroom to uphold a 15-year jail sentence for Swiss-Guatemalan Erwin Sperisen for his position in a 2006 jail operation.

Giammattei himself confronted accusations of human rights violations for a similar incident, throughout which seven prisoners however no authorities officers died; he was later exonerated for lack of proof.

“An act of injustice,” Giammattei mentioned. “I’d have favored to testify within the case.” Sperisen’s legal professionals didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark however advised native media they might take the case to the European Court docket of Human Rights.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing and extra reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Enhancing by Frank Jack Daniel and Leslie Adler