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Wed Jan 6, 2016, 02:33 PM

Guatemala arrests 14 former officials for war-era crimes

Source: Reuters

Guatemala arrests 14 former officials for war-era crimes
Source: Reuters - Wed, 6 Jan 2016 16:47 GMT

GUATEMALA CITY, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Guatemala on Wednesday detained 14 ex-military officials, including the brother of a former president, for forced disappearances and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest period of its 36-year civil war.

. . .

Testimonies from victims helped officials locate 558 skeletons in a secret cemetery inside a military zone and connect them to the accused, said state prosecutor Orlando Lopez.

Over the past decade, the Central American country has begun prosecuting crimes from its civil war past, including massacres of women and children.

Guatemala's 1960-1996 civil war pitted a succession of right-wing governments against leftist insurgents and led to nearly a quarter-million deaths. A U.N.-backed truth commission said the armed forces carried out more than 80 percent of human rights abuses during the conflict.

Read more: http://www.trust.org/item/20160106165011-z3ro9/

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Reply Guatemala arrests 14 former officials for war-era crimes (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2016 OP
Faux pas Jan 2016 #1
EdwardBernays Jan 2016 #2
RussBLib Jan 2016 #3
Judi Lynn Jan 2016 #4
Judi Lynn Jan 2016 #5

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 02:34 PM

1. ...

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 02:46 PM

2. Shame they can't arrest those in the US

behind so much of the Guatemalan death and destruction as well...

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 03:07 PM

3. when was the last time the US charged any military official or gov't official with war crimes?

Ever?

As if we in the US are "above" that kind of thing.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jan 6, 2016, 03:29 PM

4. AP: Guatemala: Ex-officials arrested for civil war killings

Guatemala: Ex-officials arrested for civil war killings
Associated Press
By SONIA PEREZ D.
18 minutes ago

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Prosecutors on Monday announced the arrest of several former military and government officials for alleged crimes against humanity committed during Guatemala's civil war, and initiated human rights proceedings against an ally of President-elect Jimmy Morales.

Among those arrested was Benedicto Lucas Garcia, a former army commander credited with founding paramilitary groups during the 1960-1996 conflict. He is also the brother of the late President Fernando Romeo Lucas Garcia, who ruled Guatemala with an iron fist from 1978 to 1982.

Also detained were retired Gen. Francisco Luis Gordillo, who helped bring former dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt to power from 1982 to 1983, and Byron Barrientos, who was interior minister during the 2000-2004 presidency of Alfonso Portillo. The suspects face charges of crimes against humanity involving massacres and disappearances of people by security forces under their command.

"The cases that we have documented were (attacks) against the non-combatant civilian population including children," Attorney General Thelma Aldana said. She described them as among "the largest forced disappearances in Latin America."

More:
http://news.yahoo.com/guatemala-arrests-ex-presidents-brother-massacres-162001555.html

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 8, 2016, 02:39 PM

5. Decades After Atrocities During US-Backed Dirty Wars, Nations Take Promising Legal Steps

Decades After Atrocities During US-Backed Dirty Wars, Nations Take Promising Legal Steps

El Salvador says will make arrests over notorious massacre of Jesuit priests; Guatemala arrests over a dozen former officials for rights abuses

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Published on Friday, January 08, 2016
by Common Dreams


[font size=1]
A memorial to the people who died in the civil war in El Salvador. (Photo: Celine Massa/flickr/cc)
[/font]
In promising and long-awaited developments, Guatemala and El Salvador, where U.S.-backing and training helped the military forces commit crimes against humanity, this week took legal steps towards justice for victims.

In El Salvador, more than 25 years after members of the U.S. backed-Salvadoran military forces killed six Jesuit priests, the government has said it would arrest 17 former soldiers accused of the committing the notorious massacre.

According to reporting by Reuters on Wednesday:


The government made the announcement after a Spanish judge sent a new petition to international police agency Interpol on Monday, ordering the soldiers' capture for the 1989 murders of the priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. Five of the priests were Spanish and one was Salvadoran.

"We consider compliance with international arrest warrants to be mandatory, and we must proceed with immediate implementation by the Salvadoran authorities," Agence France-Presse quotes Salvador's human rights ombudsman David Morales as saying late Wednesday.

The Center for Justice and Accountability, which has sought legal remedy on behalf of the families of the murdered Jesuit priests, offers this background on what happened on the day of the massacre, November 16, 1989:

As summarized in the United Nations Truth Commission report, a feature of the post-conflict peace accords, on the night of November 15, 1989, then Colonel René Emilio Ponce, in the presence of General Juan Rafael Bustillo, Colonel Juan Orlando Zepeda, Colonel Inocente Orlando Montano and Colonel Francisco Elena Fuentes, ordered Colonel Guillermo Alfredo Benavides to kill Jesuit Father Ellacuría and to leave no witnesses. Later that night, Benavides in turn ordered Lt. Espinoza Guerra, a member of the elite Atlacatl Battalion, to carry out this order.

Espinoza Guerra and his platoon of Atlacatl troops arrived at the Universidad Centroamericana ¨José Simeon Cañas¨ (UCA) in San Salvador in the early hours of November 16, 1989 and made their way to the Pastoral Center. When the priests came out to see what the commotion was about, they were ordered to go into the garden and lie face down on the ground, while the soldiers searched the building. At this point, Lieutenant Espinoza Guerra gave the order to kill the priests. By the end of the massacre, six priests, their housekeeper and the housekeeper's daughter were brutally murdered.

Lieutenant Espinoza Guerra and his troops attempted to cover up their role in the massacre by making it look as if the killings had been carried out by members of the FMLN.

More:
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/01/08/decades-after-atrocities-during-us-backed-dirty-wars-nations-take-promising-legal

Good Reads:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1016141503

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