Amnesty Denied For Former Guatemalan Dictator Facing Genocide Charges

March 2, 2012 7:00 am 0 comments
Amnesty Denied For Former Guatemalan Dictator Facing Genocide Charges

Protester holding a sign of Efraín Ríos Montt and other members of the Guatemalan military.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Guatemalan Judge Miguel Angel Gálvez ruled Thursday that former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt could not receive amnesty from prosecution for war crimes. Ríos Montt, who ruled Guatemala from 1982-83 during some of the bloodiest years of the country’s civil war, faces charges for the murder, torture, and forced displacement of thousands of Guatemalans, most of whom were indigenous Mayans. The ruling, which Ríos Montt and his lawyers will appeal to Guatemala’s highest court, could open the door for prosecutions of other former generals who ruled Guatemala during the period of conflict, as well as many lower-ranked members of the military. Judge Gálvez ruled that an amnesty law passed by Ríos Montt’s successor was invalid due to international treaties Guatemala had signed. According to Gálvez, “There are crimes like genocide and crimes against humanity that have no statute of limitations, and for that reason there can be no amnesty decree.”

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