Guatemalan genocide trial back in legal limbo after false start to retrial

Maria Soto and other Ixil women celebrate after former Guatemalan dictator Rios Montt was found guilty of genocide in May of 2013. (Photo credit: Elena Hermosa/Trocaire)

A Guatemalan court got off to a false start on a retrial this week in a genocide case against the country’s former dictator Efrain Rios Montt and his then-chief of military intelligence Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez. The proceedings are part of a complex legal saga that began more than a decade ago and come after the landmark conviction of the two former official on charges of genocide. The charges stem from a scorched-earth counter-insurgency campaign carried out in the indigenous Maya Ixil region in the early 1980s during a particularly brutal phase of Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war.

For more on this week’s court proceeding – and the genocide case in general – FSRN’s Shannon Young spoke with Bridget Brehen, Director of the Guatemala Accompaniment Project at the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA).

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