Guatemala’s ex-dictator gets 80 years in jail

Guatemala City, May 11 (IANS/EFE) Guatemala’s former strongman Efrain Rios Montt was convicted Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison.

His co-defendant, retired Gen. Jose Rodriguez Sanchez, was acquitted.

The court revoked Rios Montt’s house arrest and ordered him taken to prison.

Rios Montt, 86, and the 67-year-old Rodriguez were accused in the deaths of 1,771 Ixil Indians between March 1982 and August 1983 as part of a counter-insurgency campaign.

This is the first time any Guatemalan ruler has been called to account for the massacres and atrocities of the country’s 1960-1996 civil war.

Rios Montt presided over the bloodiest phase of a conflict that claimed more than 200,000 lives.

–IANS/EFE

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