Rios Montt found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity


30 Responses to “Rios Montt found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity”

  1. Randy Walters says:

    What a remarkable job Ms. Jardin has done of reporting these events. I would have remained ignorant of what transpired, save for her efforts. Thank you.

  2. mennonot says:

    This is very good news for all of us who are struggling to end impunity for human rights violators and who hold the people of Guatemala in our hearts. Thanks for being there as a witness for all of of us who couldn’t be, Xeni.

  3. tricky says:

    I’m so glad, I’m really so glad, growing up in guatemala in the 80′s wasn’t something I wish upon my worst enemy… finally some justice to the tens of thousands this evil man murdered in the name of stopping communism

  4. El Cid says:

     I wish that they had the authority and ability to bring back Ronald Reagan — the funder, the backer, the director — and put him and his toadies on trial right alongside their client, Rios Montt.

  5. Cary Allen says:

    This is a good start. I hope the process holds together and the old reptile is ultimately put into a cage.

  6. Stefan Jones says:

    Thank you, Xeni.

    And please stay safe. I can imagine apologists for the old regime blaming this on the press.

  7. noah django says:

    re:  Sanchez’s acquittal and that whole final paragraph, why do I get the sinking feeling that defeat will end up snatched from the jaws of victory?  When I read the headline, I was relieved, but now I’m just as cynical as ever :/

    • Stevesaw says:

      Yeah, why was Sanchez acquitted of all charges, given he was Montt’s military intelligence chief, while Montt was found guilty? 
      Wouldn’t Sanchez have known at least as much as Montt what was being done to the Ixil indians, and if didn’t try to stop it, be as guilty as Montt?

      Xeni, can you explain why Sanchez was found not guilty? 

      • Gulliver says:

        Montt’s defense apparently centered around not being the one who gave the orders, that honor going to the current head of state. Likewise, my understanding is that the prosecution argued that he was still responsible because he was responsible for the man who did give the orders for the genocide. If Sanchez was neither the one who gave the orders nor responsible for the man who did, perhaps the case against Montt undermined the case against Sanchez. That’s just a guess though. I still want to hear what Xeni says.

  8. Nathalie Plum says:


  9. LogrusZed says:

    It would be crass to say something like “Hah! You lose! Suck it you evil prick!”. So I won’t.

  10. HSStOurs says:

    I also wish to express my thanks to you, Xeni, and to Mile O’Brien too, for bringing this before the American public. None of the traditional media have even acknowledged the trial, let alone explained with such detail the impact it has not only on the Ixil and the Guatemalan people, but to history itself.

  11. Xeni,  thank you for your cover of this trial. I’ve no words.

  12. Ian Brewer says:

    Thank you for your coverage of the trial, Xeni. My nephew is Guatemalan Indian and this means a great deal to my family. Now, if only we could prosecute the US politicians, CIA operatives and corporate executives from United Fruit who enabled the genocide.

  13. sabotabby says:

    Thank you for your excellent coverage over the course of the trial. So glad to hear the guilty verdict!

  14. Randy Walters says:

    It’s worth noting that the New York Times’s coverage today made a point of noting the involvement of the United States in Guatemalan politics, including the difference between the Carter administration cutting off aid for the military, and Reagan’s eager embrace of Montt as an ally. Quoting the Times:

    “After a regional meeting, President Ronald Reagan described him as “a man of great personal integrity and commitment.””

    I have to step away from any pretense of objectivity at this point, and state that since I was 25 when Reagan took office, I experienced the fully conscious and helpless horror of his repugnant, perverse grip on the national consciousness. 

    Never forget that contemporary Republicans (if that term can be used) have no greater hero than this doltish shell of a human being. It explains a lot.

  15. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    I’ve never been happier to have my pessimism knocked over.  This won’t undo the past but it hopefully brings some justice.

    • headcode says:

       Indeed.  I was so sure he would walk away in the end.  Given the continuing corruption in the form of threats I am amazed and dazzled by the prosecution’s determination to see this out.

  16. niktemadur says:

    Bravo Guatemala, for facing your past and giving it justice, an extremely important precedent in Latin America in general, Central America in particular.
    Bravo Xeni, for keeping us informed on this important series of events.

    A terrible shame I can’t say the same for Mexico with ex-President Luis Echeverría Alvarez, for giving the order that led to the 1968 student massacre as Secretary Of The Interior, then giving unprecedented powers to law enforcement (under the pretext of combating terrorism, of course) during his 1970-76 presidency, creating bloated, corrupt and brutal federal police forces with consequences that linger in purulence to this day.

  17. mat says:

    Unfortunately, there will always be some butcher ready to do some dirty work. Empowering him is the biggest crime. Closing our eyes and going on with our lives is the endorsement of that crime. Justice is not halfways done until we accept our own weakness and unconcerned sefishness in the awareness of such events.

  18. Steve Laudig says:

    Many of his co-conspirators are alive and well and living on USG pensions.

  19. pat says:

    Thank you, Xeni.
    This sentence gave me chills:  “The Ixil sang quietly amid the chaos.”

  20. BillStewart2012 says:

    Typo s/irreperable/irreparable 

  21. niktemadur says:

    A military prick with an inflated ego pulls a coup d’etat,
    his actions yell “l’etat c’est moi”.

    Then he pulls an Alberto Gonzalez, “I don’t recall/I had no knowledge”?
    Fuck you, Jack, “l’etat c’est toi!”

  22. teapot says:

    Bye old guy.. have fun dying in prison.

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