The decision of a judge to order the arrest of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity, is a good precedent to remove the impunity that has prevailed for years in the country, says the Archdiocese of Guatemala City.
Prosecutors accused Rios Montt, 85, former president and commander in chief of the army, of being responsible for and directing military operations against Mayan people during Guatemala’s civil war.
Nearly 1,800 indigenous Guatemalans were massacred by the army, which considered them guerrilla collaborators. Rios Montt was in charge of these operations.
Guatemala’s 1960-96 civil war left more than 200,000 people dead.
After a military coup, Rios Montt was Guatemala’s de facto ruler between 1982 and 1983. He is the first former Central American dictator brought to trial.