Yesterday’s ruling that General Efraín Ríos Montt and his former head of military intelligence, General José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, should stand trial for the massacre of almost two thousand people in the 1980s is a crucial step towards justice, truth and reparation, Amnesty International said today.
Ríos Montt, who held power from March 1982 to August 1983, and Rodríguez Sánchez will be tried for their alleged responsibility over the deaths of the mainly Mayan villagers in a series of massacres during that period.
“This decision strengthens justice in Guatemala, as accountability for past crimes begins to emerge,” said Sebastian Elgueta, Amnesty International researcher on Central America.
“What is important is to ensure justice, truth and reparation for the families and victims of thousands of other human rights violations.
A 1999 UN-backed truth commission found that during Guatemala’s 36-year internal armed conflict (1960-1996) some 200,000 people were killed or disappeared.