Ex-Guatemalan dictator to stand trial on genocide charges


A judge this week ordered former Guatemalan dictator Efrian Rios Montt to stand for a second trial on genocide charges, this time for the deaths of some 200 people in the 1982 Dos Erres Massacre, human rights authorities said on Friday.

The 90-year-old Montt is facing another trial for genocide in a separate case involving the Mayan Ixil population, which has been delayed repeatedly by his defense team. In August 2015, the former leader was declared medically unfit to face a standard trial.

Judge Claudette Domínguez still has to select a date for the second trial to begin.

The Dos Erres massacre, which took place over three days in December 1982, was the work of a counterinsurgency unit known as the Kaibiles in the rural village of Dos Erres in northern Guatemala. The soldiers shot, strangled and bludgeoned the villagers to death with sledgehammers, and one admitted to throwing a baby into the village well.

In 1994, forensic anthropologists found the remains of 162 bodies in the well, including 67 children less than 12 years old.

The case, one of the most gruesome during the country’s bloody 36-year civil war, led to the sentencing of four soldiers to 6,060 years each in 2011.

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