Jamaican News

Guatemalan ex dictator Rios Montt’s retrial on genocide charges scheduled to begin July 23


GUATEMALA CITY _ A Guatemalan court says the retrial of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity will begin July 23.

The proceeding had been scheduled for January but was postponed, dismaying victims who have long sought to see Rios Montt punished for the massacre of thousands of Mayan Indians during his 1982-83 regime.

Rios Montt was convicted in 2013, but the Central American country’s constitutional Court overturned his 80-year sentence for procedural errors and ordered a new trial.

Plaintiff’s lawyer Hector Reyes said Wednesday that in scheduling the retrial’s start, the court hearing the case raised the possibility of Rios Montt participating by video conference. The 88-year-old former soldier is in ill health.

The U.N. estimates 245,000 people died or disappeared during Guatemala’s 1960-96 civil war.


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