Guatemalan Court Charges Retired Soldiers for Civil War Killings, Disappearances

6/10/2021

A judge in Guatemala charged six ex-military members for their alleged participation in the death and forced disappearance of at least 183 civilians during Guatemala’s civil war in the 1980s.

Judge Miguel Galvez said there was sufficient evidence to bring the retired soldiers to trial for the crimes committed between 1983 and 1985, which were part of a conflict between leftists and the government from 1960 to 1996 that killed 200,000 people.

About 45,000 people are thought to have been forcibly disappeared after they were kidnapped.

The dozen suspects are named in a 73-page document known as the “Military Diary,” in which the alleged perpetrators recorded kidnappings, executions, tortures, and sexual assaults.

The document also contains a list of the 183 victims in which they are described as “subversive” and a “threat” to the government.

Relatively few people have been tried for the crimes and human rights violations of the war, and conservative lawmakers presented a bill seeking to remove criminal responsibility from military members who participated in crimes during the conflict.

A United Nations-backed commission has said the army committed the majority of the atrocities.

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Outlet: 
Reuters