A Guatemalan court’s decision to try former Guatemalan President Efraín Ríos Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity through a lawyer and behind closed doors opens a new avenue for justice but highlights the deep flaws of the country’s justice system, which has so far failed to bring justice to his victims, said Amnesty International.
The conditions of his trial were decided due to the 89-year-old former president’s fragile health, according to news reports. The trial is due to start in January 2016.
“Today’s ruling clearly shows that when justice is delayed for so long, there is a very high risk that those responsible for crimes such as mass killings and disappearances will be able to get away with it,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
“If authorities in Guatemala would have dealt with the shocking catalogue of crimes committed under Ríos Montt’s rule as they should have, instead of repeatedly delaying the process, the country would not find itself in this situation.”