Guatemala: Nation's highest court throws out Ríos Montt genocide trial verdict and prison sentence

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30 Responses to “Guatemala: Nation's highest court throws out Ríos Montt genocide trial verdict and prison sentence”

  1. RElgin says:

    So if they turn back the trial to the 19th, what does this really mean?  Does this mean that a new decision will be handed down or that the trial is simply annuled?

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      As I said in the post, no one is really certain what it really means tonight. It’s not possible to know without having seen the full text of the court’s decision. That said, it does not look good. It looks like the trial is effectively annulled and that a new trial must take place, which would not be a good thing.

  2. Jake0748 says:

     Speaking from my recently endowed Chair of Cynicism. I am not surprised.  People seem to take mass murder and genocide in stride these days. (See Syria). 

      I feel defeated.  Fuck this shit. 

  3. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    And my pessimism wins again

  4. Eark_the_Bunny says:

    ” A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”  ~ Joesph Stalin

    Yes, a single death is indeed a tragedy but million deaths are not just a statistic but a million tragedies.

  5. headcode says:

    Damn, I hated Reagan.  Seeing that image makes me feel as sick to my stomach as I did during the 80s.

  6. Ian McLoud says:

    Where’s a drone strike when you really need one?

  7. sdmikev says:

    Justice takes another one on the chin.  This sucks.

  8. Syn - says:

    Shame on them. A big, burdening, to-the-grave shame. Nobody will forget. 

  9. Jason Lane says:

    Looks like the invading colonialists have won again, this is a repeating story in many a South American country at the moment.

  10. Nell Anvoid says:

    “If I had a rocket launcher…”

    Bruce Cockburn’s best song. Look it up.

    • chgoliz says:

      There are days when that is my go-to song. This is one of them.

    • The week after Bush the Younger released /Decision Points,/ I heard Tom Smith and Toy Boat play a hard-rock cover of “If I Had a Rocket Launcher” at a concert at WindyCon. I hadn’t thought of that song in years, and it was exactly the wrong time for me to hear it; I broke down crying.

      I can make excuses for myself during the Dirty Wars; I was still young, and a little dumb. But by the time of the Iraq invasion, I knew damned well that we were about to murder another couple of hundred thousand people for nothing, and I will go to my grave never knowing if I did everything I could do to stop it? Or just everything I had the guts to do?

      But I’ll know this: I didn’t have a rocket launcher. And I didn’t make somebody pay.

  11. Glenn Dukes says:

    I thought it was interesting that the NYT mentioned intense lobbying by the plutocrats, but neglected to mention that there were several death threats documented against Judges and prosecutors.  Guns put on tables accompanyed with hints that the gunmen knew where children were…that kind of stuff. 

    The Times article  has that familiar mass media sing-songy reporting style of  “this side says A…that side says B”.   It says that the “verdict was controversial” as if half of the Guatemalans support the General.  I am sure the entrenched elite support him, but my guess is most of the masses don’t.

    Luckily, we have people like Xeni Jardin to tell us what is actually happening.  Power to the Xeni!

    As a criminal defense lawyer for 10+ years, I want to see the court’s opinion before I make up my mind about the verdict’s being overturned.  Even a monster like Rios should have due process. 

    But, the opportunities for improper influence are just so damned immense. 

    When the General’s people tell one or two of five Constitutional Court judges to  do something, it’s a real-deal threat, and they have the exhumed, hands-bound corpses to back it up. 

    What actions will current President Otto Perez Molina take to save his own skin?  Surely he is the next target of la gente. 

    It looks like, on the surface at least, the Tahoe Mine killings were orchestrated by the corporation (see Guatemalan Times story here: 

    http://www.guatemala-times.com/news/guatemala/3653-tahoe-resources-mining-executive-in-guatemala-gives-direct-orders-to-kill-protestors.html)

    But you sure hate to see Molina dropping martial law down DURING the trial that was sure to expose him.  I just hope the world keeps focused on this.

    Thank you very much for reporting on the scene and letting the rest of us know what is happening.  It takes a great deal of bravery I imagine to immerse yourself in that potential chaos.

    Glenn Dukes
    civilrightskiosk.com

  12. StAlfongzo says:

    What a shame it makes me disgusted. The first thing that comes to my mind is is what Glen has said above.

    But, the opportunities for improper influence are just so damned immense. 

    When the General’s people tell one or two of five Constitutional
    Court judges to  do something, it’s a real-deal threat, and they have
    the exhumed, hands-bound corpses to back it up. 

    It seems to me that there is some house cleaning to do in Guatemala. I am sure that there are more guilty parties involved with this.
     
    And why the hell are we (the US) still sending them aid? I have had enough already with giving other struggling countries billions of $$.

    • llazy8 says:

      Did you not scroll down long enough to see Rios-Montt chumming it up with Reagan?  You suggest that we should wash our hands of it now?  When we have not cleaned house yet, either.  

  13. Daniel says:

    The world never changes. I think someone should assassinate Montt to give these people a small taste of  justice

  14. farhana says:

    I hate that person.

  15. solidarity4ever says:

    I am a US citizen writing this from Guatemala. I´ve not had a chance to talk to folks about this latest development but opinions  here on Rios Montt vary. Some think he did what was necessary and that many still  believe manyof the atrocities were committed by guerilla groups. Others are decidedly in favor of the Barrios´ court decision.  
    Right now I´m feeling quite demoraalized to the point of wanting to cry, even though ten years ago the bringing this to trial would have been impossible. We have to consider this and the courage of the Barrios court and Claudia Paz y Paz as progress. I know a lot of people here that have helped in small ways to document atrocities or are doing good work in small communities impacted by ¨ La Violencia¨ affecting a few lives at a time. I guess that is all we can do for now.

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