Apr 22, 2013

Events Outside the Constitutional Court in Guatemala on April 20


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April 22, 2013

Source: Just the Facts Week in Review

On Thursday, a judge in Guatemala suspended the landmark trial of former dictator Rios Montt, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. Judge Carol Patricia Flores nullifiedthe testimony of several victims of the Rios Montt government's scorched-earth campaign between 1982 and 1983. According to CNN, Flores "ruled that because all of the issues at the lower courts had not been settled, the current proceedings are invalid, the state-run AGN news agency reported. The ruling in effect rewinds the legal process against Rios Montt to where it was in November of 2011, in a pre-trial phase."

Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz said that the ruling was illegal and that her office would be challenging it. Amnesty International published a press release today denouncing the move to annul the trial. The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) also said it would be investigating Flores. The CICIG announcement made reference to a paid advertisement written by former government officials that appeared in El Periódico newspaper that said a genocide trial was a threat to peace and stability. Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina supported the statement.

The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala has a comprehensive summary of each days' events as does the Open Society Justice Initiative and Central American Politicsblog. Independent photojournalist James Rodríguez has a good photo essay of the trial on his blog, MiMundo.org.

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