GUATEMALA CITY — A Guatemalan court on Friday found Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, the former dictator who ruled Guatemala during one of the bloodiest periods of its long civil war, guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.
Judge Yasmín Barrios sentenced General Ríos Montt, 86, to 80 years in prison. His co-defendant, José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, who served as the director of intelligence under the general, was acquitted of the same two charges.
“We are completely convinced of the intent to destroy the Ixil ethnic group,” Judge Barrios said as she read the hourlong summary of the ruling by the three-judge panel. Over five weeks, the tribunal heard more than 100 witnesses, including psychologists, military experts and Maya Ixil Indian survivors who told how General Ríos Montt’s soldiers had killed their families and wiped out their villages.
Phi Beta Iota: The genocide continues today, but in disguised form The day will come with US presidents will be similarly convicted, first in absentia, and then directly. What has been done to our own public, our own poor and blue collar and middle class, as well as what has been done to tens of millions of others in our name and at our expense, includes, without question, persistent willful crimes against humanity. We favor Truth & Reconciliation, not vengeance, but observe that Reconciliation must be preceded by and rooted in the truth.
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