Behind the genocide trial of Rios Montt

It’s rare for a tyrant to go on trial for crimes against his people, unless he is defeated in war and tried by the victors.  But it appeared that an exception would be made in the case of General Efrain Rios Montt, ruler of Guatemala in 1982-83, who, with U.S. government approval, ordered his army to massacre and torture Mayan villagers, including women, children and sick people, in a campaign to stamp out guerrilla resistance.

This would have been an important precedent, leading to—who knows?—rulers of the world’s powerful nations being held legally accountable for crimes against humanity.  But as things stand today, it appears that the trial will not go forward.

View the videos for more about the charges against Rios Montt.

Hat tip to Oidin.

[Update 5/11/13]  Rios Montt was sentenced to 80 years in prison after being convicted of genocide.

[Update 5/27/13]  Rios Montt’s conviction was overturned by Guatemala’s Constitutional Court.

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For more background, click on the following links

Allan Nairn News and Comment

The Trial of Efrain Rios Montt & Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez

Eighty Years in Prison for Guatamalan Ex-Dictator [Added 5/11/13]

Ronald Reagan: Rios Montt is “totally dedicated to democracy” [Added 5/11/13]

Throughout Latin America, protests demand justice for Guatemala after genocide trial overturned [5/27/13]

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