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  • Former Guatemalan dictator, Efrain Rios Montt

    Former Guatemalan dictator, Efrain Rios Montt | Photo: EFE

Published 15 March 2016

The former leader is accused of murdering 1,771 Ixiles Indigenous people in the northwestern department of Quiche.

The highly anticipated special judgement against Guatemala’s former dictator Jose Efrain Rios Montt, who is accused of genocide, will begin Wednesday, justice officials have confirmed.

The president of Court B of Greatest Risk, Janeth Valdez, called the hearing for Wednesday at 8.30 a.m. local time.

Rios Montt, ruler of Guatemala 1982-1983, will not be present due to being legally declared incapable of facing the judgement due to illness, and will be represented by his lawyers.

The judge programed the judgement to take place behind closed doors.

According to lawyer Hector Reyes, Guatemala’s highest court also has to resolve a counter-accusation by the lawyers of Rios Montt, for allegedly giving an opinion on genocide in a doctoral thesis.

In July 2015, the 89-year-old retired general was declared mentally incapable of facing trial by the National Institute of Forensic Sciences.

The former leader is accused of murdering 1,771 Ixiles Indigenous people in the northwestern department of Quiche.


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