International News

Guatemala's ex-dictator accused of genocide

Efraín Ríos Montt, the former army general who between 1982 and 1983 subjected Guatemala to a military dictatorship, has stood trial on charges of genocide against indigenous Indian communities and around a hundred massacres against the leftist opposition. The trial got underway once Ríos Montt was stripped of the parliamentary immunity he enjoyed and which shielded him from any similar charges. The decision to make the ex-dictator stand trial means that Guatemala follows in the footsteps of other countries in the region in prosecuting former dictators responsible for committing crimes against humanity in the context of civil war. The civil war in Guatemala lasted 36 years, until 1996, and caused the death of 200,000 civilians, the majority of whom were from indigenous communities. It is now being demanded that these ex-dictators officially apologise for committing these atrocities.