Editorial: Justice interrupted for victims of Maya genocide

The New York Times on the genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt:
Securing justice for victims of the brutal civil war in Guatemala that lasted from 1960 to 1996 was always going to be tough. But the ruling by the country’s highest court on Monday to overturn the genocide conviction of the former dictator, Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, is a serious setback in the effort to demand accountability for those terrifying years and move the country toward reconciliation.

General Ríos Montt, 86, was found guilty on May 10 of overseeing the killings by the armed forces of at least 1,771 members of the Maya Ixil Indian population during his rule in 1982 and 1983. The court heard wrenching accounts from survivors of the Army’s scorched-earth policy in the Mayan highlands. General Ríos Montt was sentenced to 80 years in prison. On Monday, the Constitutional Court ordered that all trial proceedings since April 19 be disregarded because a procedural decision by a judge on the trial court sent the case into disarray.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Justice Interrupted in Guatemala (The New York Times 5/23)

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