The Media Co-op

Local Independent News

More independent news:
Do you want free independent news delivered weekly? sign up now
Can you support independent journalists with $5? donate today!

First Guatemalan Genocide Trial of Former Dictator Rios Montt

Interview with Benjamín Manuel Jerónimo, President of the Asociación para la Justicia y la Reconciliación and Massacre Survivor

by Lillian Boctor

Indigenous Maya witness and testify at former Guatemalan dictator Rios Montt's genocide trial
Indigenous Maya witness and testify at former Guatemalan dictator Rios Montt's genocide trial

This interview is in Spanish.

Former US-backed Guatemalan dictator and retired army general Efraín Ríos Montt, along with his  ex-intelligence chief José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, are undergoing a trial that began on March 19, 2013 for genocide and crimes against humanity. They are being prosecuted for the killing of 1,771 Maya Ixil men, women and children and the ordering of 15 massacres against the Maya Ixil people by the Guatemalan military in the counterinsurgency “scorched-earth” offensive, under Rios Montt’s leadership, from 1982-1983. This is the first time in the Americas that a former head of state is being tried for genocide in the same country where the massacres happened.

During the country’s 36-year old internal armed conflict, more than 200,000 people, mostly indigenous Mayan, were killed, with the majority of them killed in the five-year period ending with Rios Montt’s overthrow in 1983.

Survivors and family members of those killed during Guatemala’s internal armed conflict founded the Asociación para la Justicia y la Reconciliación (Association for Justice and Reconciliation). The group first filed a suit against Rios Montt 12 years ago. They have been consistently organizing for justice for the victims and survivors of the massacres, genocide, displacement and torture of indigenous people in Guatemala and are key plaintiffs in the case against Rios Montt and Sanchez.  The trial is taking place amid growing repression and targeting of social justice and indigenous activists in Guatemala.

Benjamín Manuel Jerónimo is the president of the Asociación para la Justicia y la Reconciliación and a massacre survivor who lost 14 family members. Freelance journalist Lillian Boctor spoke with him by phone a few weeks before the Rios Montt trial began about his involvement in the case, the significance and historical background of the trial, his hopes for justice and the situation of indigenous Guatemalans today.

 

Socialize:
Want more grassroots coverage?
Join the Media Co-op today.

Creative Commons license icon Creative Commons license icon

About the poster

Trusted by 1 other users.
Has posted 11 times.
View Lillian Boctor's profile »

Recent Posts:


Lillian Boctor (Lillian Boctor)
Montreal and Beyond
Member since June 2011

About:


304 words
bar baz
Join the media co-op today
Things the Media Co-op does: Support
Things the Media Co-op does: Report
Things the Media Co-op does: Network
Things the Media Co-op does: Educate
Things the Media Co-op does: Discover
Things the Media Co-op does: Cooperate
Things the Media Co-op does: Build
Things the Media Co-op does: Amplify

User login


Google+
Subscribe to the Dominion $25/year

The Media Co-op's flagship publication features in-depth reporting, original art, and the best grassroots news from across Canada and beyond. Sign up now!