Rios Montt Sentenced to 80 Years in Prison

May 11, 2013 | Print Print |

Aromina Garcia

Efrain Rios Montt

Efrain Rios Montt

HAVANA TIMES – Guatemala’s former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, was sentenced Friday to 80 years in prison on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The judgment was divided into 50 years for genocide and 36 years for crimes against humanity, reported PULSAR news.

Jose Rodriguez, former head of Military Intelligence during Rios Montt’s coup government and who was also tried for the same crimes, was acquitted.

Rios Montt, who testified before the sentence was handed down, denied having authorized the massacres “against any race, ethnic group or religion.”

In this regard, the courts head judge, Jasmine Barrios, said the judges felt that Rios Montt’s conduct “falls within the crime as author of genocide.”

Efrain Rios Montt was convicted of the slaughter of 1,771 indigenous persons of the Ixil Maya community in the department of Quiché between March 1982 and August 1983, during the period he ruled after the coup against then President Romeo Lucas Garcia.

He was also accused of numerous atrocities committed by soldiers against Guatemalan communities during the long civil war.

The Guatemalan court began the trial on March 19 described as “historic” because it is the first time a former head of state is accused, tried and convicted of crimes against humanity and genocide.


What's your opinion?

  • Luis

    Just one more puppet military dictator backed by the ‘freedom bringers’, the US of A. Too bad there’s no way of sentencing Reagan himself because he’s already dead, together with Maggie T now they’re privatizing everything in the afterlife.

    • Griffin

      No worries, Luis. Maggie & Ronald may be privatizing heaven, but Marx still rules in Hell with his devils Stalin, Mao & Lenin & all their wicked disciples.

  • principiante

    It is ok that justice has been done regarding the very hand that gave the order, but good enough? What about the hand higher above his, the more or less visible hand of oligarchic and imperial interests in the region? Where were the Guatemalan versions of Yoanis Sánchez at the time. Perhaps being slaughtered, certainly not being welcomed in the United States as heroes. Mind you, this comment is not exactly meant as criticism against YS but against the hypocrisy of the United States, which readily demonizes its enemies yet looks the other way when it comes to their secret allies no matter how ruthlessly they violate human rights.

  • Griffin

    I applaud the conviction of this genocidal ruler. I pray for the day all such brutal rulers, from both the Left and Right, who committed horrendous crimes against humanity, face justice.

  • Griffin

    Some perspective is needed. The Guatemalan Civil War ran from 1960 to 1996. Rios Montt came to power in a coup against a fraudulently elected politician in March 1982 and was himself deposed in another coup in August 1983. It is absurd to lay the blame for all 200,000 Guatemalans killed in the war, let alone for “genocide”. It is a well documented fact that all sides in the brutal war committed atrocities. Condemnation must go to all those who killed innocent civilians and those foreign governments who armed and aided the various Guatemalan factions.