October 18, 2011
On October 11th, authorities issued arrest warrants for former Minister of Defense and former President Oscar Humberto Mejía Víctores, and former military intelligence officials José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez and Luis Enrique Mendoza García.
The Public Prosecutor seeks to press charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for massacres that occurred between 1982 and 1983 in the Ixil region, during which time all three were members of Efraín Ríos Montt's military high command. Mendoza Garcia is also a graduate of the School of the Americas.
Rodríguez Sánchez was formally brought up on charges October 13th and sent to a military hospital to evaluate his health condition. His trial is slated to open January 29th. Francisco Palomo, defense lawyer for Ríos Montt, will also represent Rodríguez Sánchez.
Mejía Víctores and Mendoza Garcia have been declared fugitives, after search operations proved fruitless. It is suspected both may have fled the country and the Attorney General’s office may formally request international arrest warrants through Interpol.
Hearings in the case against former Army Chief of Staff Hector Mario López Fuentes have continually been delayed since his June arrest. In a hearing scheduled to take place at the military hospital today, the defendant was unconscious and unable to participate.
The Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) and the Center for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH) are plaintiffs in each of these genocide cases. AJR representative Julia Cortez spoke on behalf of the survivors at each of these proceedings, reiterating the AJR's demand for justice.
For more information and background on the genocide case, please visit our website and our regularly updated blog.
For the first time in Latin American history, national courts will hear genocide cases in-country. We are honored to accompany the courageous survivors and supporters as they fight for justice. Please sign our online petition to support the AJR and CALDH.
Thanks so much for your support through both struggle and victory!
Lara, Bridget, Carrie, Phil, and the GAP accompaniers