Guatemala: Genocide trial annullment amplifies chaos and fear

"I'm distressed. I don't know what's happening. That's how this country is. The powerful people do what they want and we poor and indigenous are devalued. We don't get justice. Justice means nothing for us."— Ana Caba, an Ixil Maya survivor of Guatemala's 36-year internal armed conflict.

She became an internally displaced refugee, living in the mountains for nearly ten years as Army troops raped, murdered, and destroyed villages throughout the Ixil region in the early 1980s. Like many around the world, she was stunned by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court's decision to annul the trial and throw out the verdict and sentence for former US-backed dictator Rios Montt.

Reuters correspondent Mike McDonald reports from Guatemala City today.

Ms. Caba, 51, is one of the women behind this wonderful book project, "Voices and images: Mayan Ixil women of Chajul."


  1. Why does it feel like evil always wins?  And yet that can’t be, else there would be no civilization.  But still, a few sociopaths can do more damage that a million good people can do good.

  2. Sounds as if the system is broken. If you can just demand the judges recuse themselves and thereby stop the process until that is resolved and then demand that they recuse themselves again, again and again, then that system is broken.

    The spirit of the law is that court should be able to work around technicalities such as these and from what I have read it sounds as if the constitutional court is going to let Montt get away with genocide and his lawyers get away with damaging its justice system and image abroad. Banana Republic if I ever saw one. 

    1. It’s interesting because the genocide trial clearly indicated that not only was Rios Montt guilty, but required further investigation and prosecutions…which would have led to the current President AND United States officials at the highest levels (Kissinger, Reagan, Elliot-Abrams, etc.) 
      It’s a Banana Republic that at least was able to charge and attempt to prosecute genocidal acts of their government; we in the U.S. wouldn’t and won’t allow this type of trial of our officials involved for crimes committed then…. or now.  We are in no place to criticize them, sadly.

      1. Indeed, too much digging leads back to US foreign policy. and therefore is not allowed. Looks like it’s back to Sports and Reality TV for us!

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