PBI-Guatemala accompanies hearings on the massacre of 251 people in Dos Erres by US-trained counter-insurgency force

Published by Brent Patterson on

On September 7, PBI-Guatemala posted:

“#PBI accompanies the hearing of testimony in advance of trial in the #CasoDosErres.”

On June 22, 2021, PBI-Guatemala had also posted: “PBI accompanies the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) in the #CasoDosErres. Today Judge Claudette Domínguez tied former Kaibil José Mardoqueo Ortiz Morales to the process, for his participation in the massacre. The next hearing will be in October; the accused will remain in remand.”

Then on October 13, 2021, PBI-Guatemala posted: “PBI accompanies the Bufete Jurídico de Derechos Humanos [Human Rights Law Firm – BDH] in the mid-stage audience at the #CasoDosErres.”

Update on the most recent hearing

Verdad Justicia tweeted: “Hearing for the advance statement of Marcelina Cardona Juárez, a survivor of the massacre, in the trial against Alfonso Bulux Vicente, is suspended for the second time. It was not possible to hold it due to hearing problems of the witness.”

And Famdegua tweeted:

“Judge Domínguez asks, for the transparency of the process, the Justice of the Peace in Petén to establish if the witness Marcelina Cardona Juárez can listen and understand. Witness does not answer questions. Judge decides to suspend hearing and orders @INACIFGT [the National Institute of Forensic Sciences of Guatemala] to evaluate it.”

Alfonso Bulux Vicente

On June 29, 2022, La Hora reported:

“For murder and crimes against the duties of humanity in real competition, the judge of Highest Risk «A», Claudette Domínguez, decided to send ex-military officer Alfonso Bulux Vicente to trial for his alleged involvement in the case known as Dos Erres. As in the previous procedure, the accused appeared by videoconference.

Yesterday, the Human Rights Prosecutor affirmed that the ex-soldier participated in acts of sexual assault against women from the Dos Erres subdivision, in Petén, among whom was a minor who was also attacked in front of relatives. In addition, he is accused of participating in the events in which at least 200 people, including men, women and children, died violently.”

The Massacre

The BBC has reported: “More than 200 people were killed in the village of Dos Erres in 1982, one of the most violent episodes in Guatemala’s brutal 36-year conflict.”

That article explains: “The Kaibiles [were] a US-trained counter-insurgency force fighting left-wing guerrillas. …The special unit of the Guatemalan army stormed the village in the north of the country on 6 December 1982.”

“The Kaibiles suspected the villagers of sympathizing with left-wing guerrillas who had two months earlier carried out an ambush on a nearby army patrol, leaving 21 soldiers dead. Even though the soldiers’ search of the village did not uncover any of the weapons the guerrillas had seized during the ambush, the Kaibiles proceeded to kill the village’s inhabitants.”

That article further notes: “Over several days, the soldiers systematically shot or bludgeoned to death hundreds of men, women and children. They disposed of most of the bodies by throwing them down a well.”

And the Associated Press has reported: “The slaughter [at Dos Erres] went unpunished for years — even after Guatemalan authorities issued 17 arrest warrants. In 2009, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights demanded the country prosecute the perpetrators.”

We continue to follow this case.


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