Former Guatemalan Dictator on Trial For Genocide Declared “Unfit”
July 8, 2015 By Staff
Top Story — An official team of government-backed doctors declared 89-year-old former Guatemalan dictator Jose Efraín Ríos Montt is “mentally incompetent,” a consensus that could stall his ongoing trial on human rights charges in connection with the genocide of Mayans during Guatemala’s civil war.
The opinion, given by the National Institute of Forensic Scientists, determined that Montt’s mental state is such that he is unable to participate in his own defense or understand the charges against him. Montt is charged with the genocide of 1,771 Mayans between 1982 and 1983. He was initially convicted in 2013, and sentenced to 80 years in prison, but the sentence was overthrown just two weeks later, Montt was returned to house arrest and the trial was ultimately suspended.
Montt is set to appear for trial on July 23, but now it is up to a three-judge panel if that trial will go forward as planned.
Montt’s daughter, Zury Ríos Sosa, announced earlier this year that she would be running for president. Ríos Sosa has maintained during her campaign that there was no genocide during the civil war, and that her father is innocent.
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