PBI-Guatemala attends hearing of army officers on trial for genocide against Ixil people

Published by Brent Patterson on

On November 5, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted, “Yesterday we accompanied in the first declaration of the ex-military Noguera Argueta, Lucas García and Callejas y Callejas accused of genocide, disappearances, sexual violence and crimes against the duties of humanity committed in the 1978-82 era against the Ixil people.”

Additional context on this can be read in this article which notes, “The first hearing of the third case for genocide against the Ixil people will begin on Monday, November 4. This seeks justice for 1,700 victims in Nebaj, Cotzal and Chajul, Quiché, in the 1980s.”

PBI-Guatemala has previously posted, “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 being tried for crimes of genocide and forced disappearance.”

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.”

CMI-Guatemala has 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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