A Guatemala Court’s three-judge tribunal has found Efrain Rios Montt, a former military ruler guilty of genocide and other crimes against Humanity and sentenced him to 80 years in prison. The 86 year old Montt, was convicted by the court for ordering the deaths of 1771 people of the Ixil Maya ethnic group during 1982 and 1983, his term in the office.
It is the first time, when a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide by a court in his/her country. The rest of the convicts of the incident were handed over to the international courts.
Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, the former chief of military intelligence who was facing the trials into the case of genocide and crimes against humanity along with Rios Montt was acquitted from the case.
The sentence of 50 years for genocide and 30 years for crimes against humanity against Riosd Montt was read out by Judge Jazmin Barrios in Guatemala City. The decision from the three-judge tribunal of Guatemala Court is a historic decision and can be considered as a great breakthrough for human rights in the Guatemala region.
During the 1960-1996 civil war of Guatemala, an estimated 2 lakh people were killed; the majority of the people who died were Mayans.
The Ixils in Guatemala were considered to be the public enemies of the state. They were victims of racism and were considered to be the inferior race.