Guatemala: protest against overturning of montt verdict

Guatemala: protest against overturning of montt verdict

In guatemala city, demonstrators marched against impunity in front of the constitutional court on friday (local time), as the newspaper "prensa libre" reported on its website.

The ex-dictator was arrested on 10. May be sentenced to 80 years in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity. Due to procedural errors, the guatemalan constitutional court overturned the verdict against rios montt on monday evening.

In honduras, according to "prensa libre," mainly women demonstrated in front of the guatemalan embassy in the capital tegucigalpa. They shouted: "rios montt, fascist – you are a terrorist!"On transparencies you could read: "the people of central america have condemned rios montt" and "no forgetting, no forgiving – rios montt to jail.

Demonstrators in nicaragua also marched in front of the guatemalan embassy, the newspaper "la prensa" reported. They had handed a diplomat a protest note. Further demonstrations were planned in argentina, mexico and peru.

Rios montt is said to have been responsible for the murder, torture and forced displacement of thousands of indigenous people of the ixil group during his rule from march 1982 to august 1983. The constitutional court justified the overturning of the verdict on the grounds that the criminal division had ignored a temporary injunction and had not heard all of the exculpatory witnesses. At least the oral proceedings must now be repeated.

The united nations criticized the annulment. "The victims of the atrocities against the ixil people have waited three decades for justice," said the spokesman for UN human rights envoy navi pillay on friday. "It is regrettable that a verdict of such importance was overturned because of procedural issues."

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