Guatemala ex-dictator to stand trial on genocide charges in civil war killings of Indians - InfoNews

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Guatemala ex-dictator to stand trial on genocide charges in civil war killings of Indians

Elena de Paz, an Ixil Indian woman, center, attends the pre-trial hearing for Guatemala's former dictator Efrain Rios Montt (1982-1983) in a courtroom in Guatemala City, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. A judge in Guatemala has begun pre-trial hearings in a genocide case against former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who is accused of overseeing hundreds of killings when he ruled Guatemala from 1982 to 1983, at the height of the country's 36-year civil war. The war ended in peace accords in 1996, after 200,000 deaths. Elena de Paz is from the area where the alleged genocide took place. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)
January 28, 2013 - 11:47 AM

GUATEMALA CITY - A judge has ruled that a former U.S.-backed dictator who presided over one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala's civil war will stand trial on charges he ordered the murder, torture and displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians.

Human rights advocates have said Jose Efrain Rios Montt's prosecution would be an important symbolic victory for the victims of one of the horrific conflicts that devastated Central America during the last decades of the Cold War. The Tuesday decision clears the way for a three-judge panel to hear the evidence against Rios Montt and decide to either judge him guilty and sentence him, exonerate him of the charge or start a public trial to rule on his guilt or innocence.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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