I am glad the court system for once is working for the people. Now if they could only prosecute the backers who helped him do this-ie the US Government and the “School of the Americas” in Georgia, we might see some REAL progress on our planet!
If you don’t know about The Monroe Doctrine and its evil results over the last 150 years or so, I highly recommend looking into it. Eduardo Galeano is a wonderful writer on this, and for fiction also see Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Noam Chomsky is great at documenting with sources and proof if you want to share this with those who are skeptical. Z magazine carries lots of his articles, and I believe he has several books specifically on Latin American issues and the Monroe Doctrine. You can also get videos of him being interviewed on youtube-I will try to post more of these soon.
It might appear that this monstrous interference by the US government on behalf of corporations benefits the (US)Americans and causes suffering only in Latin America, but a closer look reveals that the benefit is to the 1% and the oppression simply plays out in quieter, more invisible ways north of the border.
Former Guatemala Leader Guilty of Genocide
Posted by Stephen Cook on May 14, 2013 / Comments Off Category: Accountability Tags: genocide, Guatemala
Former military leader Efrain Rios Montt sentenced to 80 years in jail over massacres of indigenous people in the 1980s.
From Al-Jazeera May 11, 2013
A Guatemalan court has convicted former military leader Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, sentencing him to 80 years in prison.
A three-judge tribunal on Friday issued the verdict after the nearly two-month trial in which dozens of victims testified about horrific atrocities.
Prosecutors said Rios Montt must have had knowledge of the massacres of Ixil, indigenous people of Mayan descent living in Guatemala, when he ruled the country from March 1982 to August 1983 at the height of its 36-year civil war.
The defendant is responsible for masterminding the crime of genocide, Judge Jazmin Barrios said. The corresponding punishment must be imposed.
She said he was also guilty of war crimes.
The court, filled with victims and their relatives, erupted in applause and cheers.
Rios Montt has maintained that he never knew of or ordered the massacres while in power.
He did not express emotion as the verdict was read. When the judge said his house arrest was being revoked and he would be sent to jail, he nodded.
Later, he told reporters that his conscience was clear, as he derided the verdict.
It is an international political show that is going to hurt the soul of the Guatemalan people, but we are at peace because we never spilled, or stained our hands with, the blood of our brothers, Rios Montt said.
I am not upset because I abided by the law, he said, insisting he did the right thing for his country by fighting the national problem of rebels.
The war between the government and leftist rebels cost more than 200,000 lives and ended in peace accords in 1996.
The 86-year-old former general is the first former Latin American leader ever found guilty of such a charge.
He can appeal the verdict.
In a court hearing, Benjamin Geronimo, president of the Justice and Reconciliation Association, said he survived massacres and killings that claimed the lives of 256 members of his community.
I saw it with my own eyes, Im not going to lie. Children, pregnant women and the elderly were killed, Geronimo, an Ixil Indian who spoke on behalf of the victims, said.
Prosecutors say that while in power, Rios Montt was aware of, and thus responsible for, the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil people in the towns of San Juan Cotzal, San Gaspar Chajul and Santa Maria Nebaj in Guatemalas western highlands.