Guatemala court upholds genocide trial for ex-dictator Ríos Montt
GUATEMALA CITY – Guatemala’s highest court has rejected an amnesty appeal by former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, who faces charges of genocide in the deaths of thousands of indigenous people during his regime in the 1980s, sources said on Wednesday.
The country’s highest court, the Court of Constitutionality, rejected Ríos Montt’s legal bid to have the court case against him thrown out.
In doing so, it “upholds an earlier ruling by country’s Supreme Court,” which already had rejected his amnesty appeal, according to the source, who is one of the litigants in the case. The source said the high court ruling was issued on Tuesday.
The decision to put Ríos Montt on trial will mark the first time genocide proceedings have been brought over the 36-year civil war in Guatemala that ended in 1996, leaving an estimated 200,000 people dead, according to the United Nations. He was in power from 1982-1983.
Defense attorneys have said that the former president never knew the army was committing massacres during his administration.
Due to stand trial along with Ríos Montt is retired Gen. José Rodríguez, a former member of the military leadership.
You may be interested
The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Oct. 22, 2018Alexander Villegas - October 22, 2018
It's Monday everyone. That means it's time for another dose of The Tico Times Weekly Digest. This week's Digest is…
This week in the Peace Corps: Lessons from indigenous communities in Limón provinceCrystal / Regional Peace Corps Leader - October 22, 2018
After four years with Peace Corps Costa Rica, I am reflective about living and working in indigenous communities throughout Limón…