Dec 4, 2009

Court Papers Detail Killings by the Military in Guatemala

Fuente: New York Times

Published: December 3, 2009

MEXICO CITY — There are almost 200 pages of platoon reports, and they each repeat a similar story: A military patrol enters a Mayan village in the Guatemalan region of El Quiché in the summer of 1982. The soldiers arrest anybody who does not flee in time and “eliminate” anybody who tries to escape. Then they burn the houses, destroy the crops and kill the livestock.

“A woman was found hiding in a ditch and realizing her presence, the point man fired, killing her and two ‘chocolates,’ ” one report reads. According to eyewitnesses, the “chocolates” were two children she was protecting.

The reports are part of a secret Guatemalan military file entered into evidence this week in a genocide case against Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, the former Guatemalan dictator, and seven other top military officers. The case was filed in Spain almost a decade ago by a Nobel Peace laureate, Rigoberta Menchú, and other survivors of military attacks during the nation’s long civil war.

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