Guatemala High Court Annuls Rios Montt Conviction

War criminal Rios Montt with his pal, Ronald Reagan.
War criminal Rios Montt with his pal, Ronald Reagan.

The historic conviction of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt of genocide and crimes against humanity was annulled late last night by the country’s high court.


The three-to-two ruling by a panel of constitutional judges annuls everything that has happened in the trial since 19 April, when Gen Rios Montt was briefly left without a defence lawyer.

The defence team had walked out of the court on the previous day in protest at what they called “illegal proceedings”.

…According to the constitutional court ruling, the guilty verdict and the 80-year sentence handed down by Judge Jazmin Barrios on 10 May are therefore now void.

Human rights group Amnesty International said it was a “devastating blow for the victims of the serious human rights violations committed during the conflict”.

Montt’s lawyers had walked out in protest, called for the dismissal of the judges, tried to delay the proceedings, etc. It seems like their tactics to stall were effective, if belatedly.

See more on the trial and conviction here.

Update: Prior to this news, The New York Times hosted a debate on just how culpable the Reagan administration was in the war crimes in Guatemala. Here’s Greg Grandin’s take:

…even before [Reagan’s] 1980 election, two retired generals, who played prominent roles in Reagan’s campaign, reportedly traveled to Central America and told Guatemalan officials that “Mr. Reagan recognizes that a good deal of dirty work has to be done.”

Once in office, Reagan, continued to supply munitions and training to the Guatemalan army, despite a ban on military aid imposed by the Carter administration (existing contracts were exempt from the ban). And economic aid continued to flow, increasing to $104 million in 1986, from $11 million in 1980, nearly all of it going to the rural western highlands, where the Mayan victims of the genocide lived.

This aid helped the Guatemalan military implement a key part of its counterinsurgency campaign: following the massacres, soldiers herded survivors into “model villages,” detention camps really, where they used food and other material supplied by the U.S. Agency for International Development to establish control.

And Reagan was consistent in his moral backing for Guatemala’s genocidaires. On Dec. 5, 1982, for instance, he met with Rios Montt in Honduras and said he was “a man of great integrity” and “totally dedicated to democracy.”

Just 10 days before this meeting, one declassified U.S. document reveals that the State Department had been informed of a “well-founded allegation of a large-scale killing of Indian men, women and children in a remote area by the Guatemalan army.”

Other declassified documents reveal that the White House was less concerned with the massacres than with their effectiveness, or with countering the bad publicitystemming from reports of the atrocities.

The day after Reagan’s endorsement, Guatemalan soldiers arrived at a village called Dos Erres and started killing. The slaughter went on for three days and by the time it was over at least 162 people, including many children, were dead.

13 thoughts on “Guatemala High Court Annuls Rios Montt Conviction”

  1. Ron and Rand Paul are increasingly the subject of ridicule and marginalization from mainstream politicos. This is especially true among the left, which apparently sees the escalating libertarian bent on the right as a threat to the Democratic Party’s electoral

  2. Ron and Rand Paul are increasingly the subject of ridicule and marginalization from mainstream politicos. This is especially true among the left, which apparently sees the escalating libertarian bent on the right as a threat to the Democratic Partya??s electoral

  3. SEO talking to alternatives, if you want something done right from the begin, you need an personal that knows the organization and how aspects are done. Why, because economical dedication techniques are there to enhance your advantage. That is the whole purpose of a economical dedication. If you are looking to invest less on seo in the online industry, then you are in the incorrect area. Breakfast Catering

  4. What is the first effect, how would you independently experience this personal or company chance to present this specific service, and just how effectively justifications have you employed your research. good

  5. So, you try to power nourish your redundancy in purchase to obtain position without dropping your audience entirely at the same time. Think "Family Feud" where the aggressive members of the family known as Dawson. hobby lobby coupons

  6. That's hard when average housing costs in some US metro areas are above 45% of income. MIT and Harvard professor Merton calls this challenge in funding retirement "one of the biggest global issues. birth injury attorney

  7. Nobel Award successful economist John Merton factors out that overseas they relate to opposite loans as a more appropriate We have gone from a 40 season work lifestyle and 10 season pension, to a 40 season career and perhaps a 20 to 30 season pension. go to website

  8. Many Agents have recently been focusing on older property owners with value in their homes; motivating them to list their virginia homes, and downsize. This may be a great service for some, but a opposite mortgage loan can offer more choices. blog here

  9. Reverse mortgages can provide that option. Proceeds can be used to cover repairs, upgrades, and even in-home healthcare so that homeowners can stay in place, near friends, and have space to entertain the grand kids. Stilland Warapk

  10. At just 20 decades Advisor Viewpoints factors out that we should be saving 33% of our earnings during working decades. For most this number will be far higher considering a longer pension is becoming more likely. seo services

  11. Research show that 50% of individuals use opposite mortgage loan continues to protect renovations and servicing. Many ignore these costs in pension preparing. Yet, even if you have held a house for Three decades and paid off your unique mortgage loan, you'll likely need a significant budget to keep that house livable in the future. Source

Comments are closed.