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Thu Sep 27, 2018, 07:43 PM

Guatemala ex-intel chief acquitted on 1980s genocide charges


Updated 11:31 am CDT, Thursday, September 27, 2018

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Guatemalan court has absolved the late dictator Efrain Rios Montt's former intelligence chief of 1980s civil war rights abuses for a second time.

In a 2-1 decision, the tribunal ruled late Wednesday that Jose Mauricio Rodriguez will not see prison for genocide and crimes against humanity.

The justices unanimously held that the abuses were committed by the military, but disagreed on whether it was proven that Rodriguez gave the commands.

Prosecutors had argued that the 73-year-old ex-military officer knew about and ordered the killings of 1,771 indigenous Ixil Guatemalans by the army during Rios Montt's 1982-1983 regime.

More:
https://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Guatemala-ex-intel-chief-acquitted-on-1980s-13262798.php

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What was Guatemala’s ‘Silent Genocide’?
Sep 27, 2018
Former military general Jose Mauricio Rodriguez has been acquitted of mass murder of Mayans during 36-year civil war



Getty Images
Families are still seeking justice for the hundreds of thousands of civilians killed during the brutal civil war

A court in Guatemala has ruled that genocide was committed against ethnic Mayan civilians during the country’s protracted civil war but has acquitted a former military chief of ordering the mass murder.

Retired general Jose Mauricio Rodriguez, 73, was accused of ordering the killings of almost 1,800 indigenous Ixil civilians, and of disappearing tens of thousands more, during the dictatorship of Efrain Rios Montt in 1982 and 1983. The dictator’s brutal 14 months in power are considered the “darkest hours” of the Guatemalan civil war, which lasted from 1960 to 1996.

The court’s ruling is the culmination of the Guatemalan Maya’s decades-long fight for justice, a process that has been fraught with retrials, appeals and overturned convictions. “The harm caused by the genocide affects the lives of many Mayan Guatemalans even today,” says Luke Moffett, a law lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, in an article on The Conversation.

. . .

Why was there civil war?
For more than a decade from 1931, Guatemala was led by Jorge Ubico, a ruthless CIA-backed dictator who gave sweeping concessions to the US-based United Fruit Company, a vast corporation with control over the politics of multiple countries in the region.

More:
http://www.theweek.co.uk/96750/what-was-guatemala-s-silent-genocide

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