The Spanish on the left-hand side reads, “St Efraín… They have human rights”, on the right-hand side, it reads, “We have them, too”.
On Friday, a Guatemalan court found former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest phase of the 36-year-long Guatemalan Civil War. The court sentenced him to 50 years in prison on the genocide charge and to 30 years for crimes against humanity. It was the first time that a domestic court found a former head of state guilty of genocide.
Ríos Montt, 86, took power after a coup d’état in 1982, and faced charges of implementing a scorched-earth policy, in which troops massacred thousands of indigenous villagers. He entered the court on Friday to boos and cries of “Justicia!” (justice). Prosecutors said that Ríos Montt turned a blind eye as soldiers used rape, torture, and arson in an attempt to stamp out leftist rebels in Guatemala during his 1982-83 junta, the most violent period of the 1960-96 Guatemalan Civil War, during which as many as 250,000 people died.
The court tried him for killing at least 1,771 members of the Maya Ixil indigenous group, just a fraction of the number who died during his rule. He denied the allegations. “[Ríos Montt] had full knowledge of everything that happened and didn’t stop it”, Judge Jazmín Barrios, who presided over the trial, told a packed courtroom where Mayan women wearing colourful traditional head-dresses and headphones closely followed proceedings. The decision came just weeks after the trial was hanging in the balance, when a dispute broke out between judges over who should hear the case.
11 May 2013
Voice of Russia World Service
Ríos Montt was a bosom pal of Slobberin’ Ronnie and the darling of the Christianity Today crowd. That speaks volumes of the Republican Party and of Evangelicalism, doesn’t it? Ríos Montt was a loud and strutting Pentecostalist… he “spoke in tongues” and he was “baptised in the Spirit”. If by their fruits ye shall know them is true, what does that tell you about Pentecostalism? The USA and Israel supported the military dictatorship… México, Cuba, and Nicaragua supported the indigenous insurgents. As always, the USA (and the Republican Party) supported the Criollo moneybags and opposed the indigenous peasantry. In this case, justice was delayed… but justice was done. The good guys won…