Guatemalan murderous ex-dictator on trial


This video is called Inside Story Americas: Guatemala: Struggling for justice.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Witness gives account of 1982 village massacre

Thursday 21 March 2013

The first witness in the trial of Guatemala’s former US-backed dictator General Efrain Rios Montt testified on Tuesday that soldiers razed his village in 1982.

Nicolas Brito, the first of at least 150 witnesses to give testimony in the trial of Gen Rios Montt, said that troops killed dozens in the attack.

Mr Brito, an indigenous Ixil who survived the army’s attack on the village of Canaque, said he escaped and watched as soldiers attacked.

“A lot of women died because they were preparing the dough for tortillas and couldn’t run,” he added.

“The soldiers tore their victims’ hearts out and put them on a little table.”

In a 1982 coup Gen Rios Montt took power and held it for just over a year.

Prosecutors say during that time he was aware of, and thus responsible for, the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayas.

12 thoughts on “Guatemalan murderous ex-dictator on trial

  1. Jorge Sosa’s Alleged Involvement In Guatemala Massacre Discussed At Calif. Trial

    By AMY TAXIN 09/27/13 03:42 AM ET EDT AP

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — When the federal agents showed up at Jorge Sosa’s Southern California home, his wife was mystified. Later, an Internet search disclosed that her husband was allegedly implicated in the slaughter of 160 Guatemalan villagers during that nation’s decades-long civil war.

    Sosa fled the home and the couple later divorced but if the ex-special forces officer hoped to escape his past, he failed.

    On Thursday, two former soldiers in his unit wrapped up two days of gruesome testimony about the 1982 massacre in the hamlet of Dos Erres.

    Sosa isn’t charged with war crimes but federal prosecutors contend he lied to conceal his past on his 2007 U.S. citizenship application. If convicted, he could lose that citizenship and wind up in federal prison for up to 15 years.

    A former sergeant, Cesar Franco Ibanez, recalled for jurors what one of the commanding officers of the unit sent to Dos Erres yelled at him as he took a woman to her death.

    The officer said the task “was only for men,” Franco Ibanez, who is living outside Guatemala as a protected witness, said in Spanish through an interpreter.

    The remarks echoed testimony a day earlier by another former sergeant, Gilberto Jordan. After soldiers were ordered to kill everyone in the village, Jordan took a boy who was about 3 years old – the same age as his son – and sobbed as he walked toward a well to throw him in, Jordan recalled for the court.

    In earlier testimony, the two men testified to killing people, seeing blindfolded women beaten with sledgehammers before being tossed into the well, and to seeing Sosa, then a second lieutenant, shooting a rifle into the well and hurling in a grenade.

    Sosa was living in the Riverside County community of Moreno Valley in 2010 when authorities searched his home in connection with the massacre.

    Maria Ortiz, his wife at the time, testified that following the search she did an Internet search and discovered the allegations of his involvement.

    Not long after that, Ortiz said, Sosa vanished. She came home to find he had left behind his car and ring.

    “I saw the wedding ring and then I realized he’s gone,” said Ortiz, who divorced him the following year.

    Sosa headed to Mexico and boarded a flight to Canada. He was arrested there and extradited last year to the United States.

    Sosa is charged with making false statements and obtaining citizenship unlawfully by allegedly omitting information about his army service and participation in the killings.

    His attorney, Shashi Kewalramani, has argued that Sosa’s military service was no secret to U.S. officials since he told them about his role in the army when he applied for asylum years before he became a citizen – information that was held in his immigration file.

    He has cautioned jurors that Sosa is only on trial for the way he answered questions on his immigration paperwork – not for the atrocities of war.

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  6. Monday 6th June 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    by Phil Miller

    A WREATH was laid yesterday to commemorate the anniversary of the murder of a Guatemalan rebel, as new evidence reveals British soliders failed to protect him.

    Pedro Barrera was assassinated on June 5 1983 by Guatemalan government gunmen after fleeing to Belize.

    Last week it was revealed by Vice News that Mr Barrera was in the custody of British soldiers less than two months before his murder.

    The troops failed to protect him however and allowed him to be returned to Guatemala, where he was arrested and put within reach of his killers.

    The memorial service outside the Belize High Commission highlighted British collusion with the Montt regime and how British negligence contributed to Mr Barrera’s murder.

    Mr Barrera was part of a left-wing rebel group opposed to the Guatemalan regime, until he fell under the control of the Guatemalan military and was used as an informant.

    He was used to try to find a rebel base in Belize.

    In April 1983 Guatemala handed Mr Barrera over to Belize police and British soldiers so he could help find the alleged guerilla camp.

    Legally he was now acting as an agent for the British Army, which owed him a duty of care.

    However on failing to find it, Mr Barrera was returned to Guatemala where he was arrested, remaining in prison until the hours before he was murdered.

    In June Mr Barrera left prison and fled to the Belizean border village of Arenal, but was followed by three gunmen toting Israeli-made assault rifles hidden inside sugar sacks.

    “Barrera tried to run away and was shot first in the leg and then in the head,” a British telegram on his murder explained.

    “The murderers were themselves undoubtedly official agents,” the British High Commissioner in Belize recorded.

    The Foreign Office refused to comment.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-bbeb-Wreath-laid-for-dead-rebel-Britain-failed-to-protect#.V1U9JORnU4A

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