Guatemala detains 13 retired military officers for war crimes

January 6, 2016

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — Security forces in Guatemala arrested 13 retired military officers on Wednesday, all charged with committing forced disappearance and other human rights crimes during the country’s civil war, the Prosecutor’s Office announced.

Spokeswoman Julia Barrera said the arrests took place in the departments (provinces) of Guatemala and in Alta Verapaz, in the country’s north.

Among those detained were former army chief of staff Benedicto Lucas García, who served during his brother Romeo Lucas García’s presidency (1978-82). Lucas Garcia’s time in office is among the bloodiest of the 36-year conflict.

“According to the investigation … these people were involved in the forced disappearance of men, women and children during the armed conflict, Barrera said.

The detentions came shortly before the Jan. 11 start of a special tribunal to try ex dictator Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide — the latest of several trials against him. Ríos Montt will be represented in court by his lawyers as he suffers from dementia and other medical problems.

If convicted, the former dictator would likely be confined to a hospital or put under house arrest because of his deteriorated health.

Guatemala’s civil war left more than 200,000 people killed or disappeared, according to a United Nations truth commission. The U.N. found that state security forces were responsible for 93 percent of war crimes. Most of the massacres registered during the war were committed in the country’s western highlands, an area with a high indigenous population.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Costa Rican immigration officials detained, released by Nicaragua
News
251 views
News
251 views

Costa Rican immigration officials detained, released by Nicaragua

Alejandro Zúñiga - November 20, 2018

A potentially tense international situation was resolved amicably Monday evening after two Costa Rican Immigration Administration officials were apparently detained…

This week in the Peace Corps: The Trodden Twins (Part 2)
Changemakers
255 views
Changemakers
255 views

This week in the Peace Corps: The Trodden Twins (Part 2)

Zane H. and Alex H. / Peace Corps Volunteers - November 20, 2018

Identical twins Zane and Alex H. tell their stories of volunteering with the Peace Corps. Read Part 1 of this…

Thousands evacuated in Guatemala as volcano erupts, then stops
Central America
648 views
Central America
648 views

Thousands evacuated in Guatemala as volcano erupts, then stops

AFP - November 20, 2018

Guatemalan authorities declared a red alert and evacuated around 4,000 people Monday after the Fuego volcano erupted for the fifth…