PBI-Guatemala observes first declaration court hearing on genocide against the Maya Ixil

Published by Brent Patterson on

On October 29, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted, “On Monday we observed the hearing of the first statement of the Genocide Ixil case.”

PBI-Guatemala adds, “Manuel Benedicto Lucas García, Manuel Antonio Callejas y Callejas and César Octavio Noguera Argueta, all senior officers of the Army during the presidential term of Romeo Lucas García, are tried for crimes of genocide and forced disappearance.”

It also notes, “The hearing was postponed for today, so Lucas García can be defended by the lawyer of his choice.”

Plaza Publica has reported, “The defendants are three military elders, they are accused of having devised a campaign to exterminate the indigenous population during the presidency of Fernando Romeo Lucas García.”

That article adds, “The investigation prepared by the Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office together with AJR [the Association for Justice and Reconciliation], the complainant representing the victims, puts the focus on the three years and nine months that Fernando Romeo Lucas García ruled, from July 1978 to March 1982…”

“During that period, the researchers say, 31 massacres were committed, there were 1421 victims, 23 villages razed, 97 selective deaths, 117 forced displacement deaths, 26 cases of sexual violence and 53 forced disappearances.”

Last week, CMI-Guatemala commented, “The arrest of Noguera Argueta occurs in a context of setback in the fight against impunity and corruption, led by retired military, economic elites, and conservative politicians.”

That article adds, “Last month they managed to close the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) after 12 years of work dismantling structures of corruption and abuse of power.”

“In turn, they have promoted a proposal for an amnesty law that would end all investigation and prosecution of cases of serious human rights violations, and immediately release all those who have been convicted or are in prison awaiting trial in these cases.”

For further context, please see the International Justice Monitor article: Former Chief of Military Operations Arrested in Maya Ixil Genocide Case.

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