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U.S. backed Guatemala dictator to stand trial for genocide in Cold War killings of thousands of Mayans

U.S. backed Guatemala dictator ordered to stand trial for genocide in Cold War killings of thousands of Mayan Ixtil Indians.

U.S. backed government forces and allied paramilitaries marched into Mayan villages, carrying out rapes and torture, and slaughtering women, children and unarmed men in a “scorched earth” campaign aimed at eliminating support for left-wing movement.

More than 200,000 people, mostly Mayan Indians, were killed or went missing and entire villages were exterminated, according to the United Nations and a report by the Catholic Church. The bishop of Guatemala Juan Gerardi Conedera was bludgeoned to death for publishing the findings in 1998.

Judge Miguel Angel Galvez ruled January 28, 2013, that Rios Montt could be tried on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for the killing of 1,771 indigenous Ixiles in 1982 and 1983, when he was president.

The next hearing is January 30, 2013. Live coverage is available at Coordinacion Genocidio Nunca Mas (Genocide Never Again).

Read the coverage of the decision by the Associated Press . . . .

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, a Mayan woman, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 for her work in Guatemala.

The struggle continues to seek justice for Guatemalan people who were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases by the U.S. Public Health Service beginning in the 1940s and left untreated and uncompensated through the present time.


“Migration of the Golden People” CARECEN 2002 © Judy Baca Courtesy of SPARC