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Guatemalan Court Denies Rios Montt Amnesty

Guatemala City, October 9 (teleSUR-RHC)-- Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt has been denied his request for amnesty against a trial for his responsibility in the massacre of 1,771 Mayan Ixiles in northern Guatemala, the country's Court of Appeals said Thursday.

“The legal recourse submitted by the indicted Efrain Rios Montt to extinguish penal persecution has been ruled out,” the tribunal said, according to statement by the Association for Justice and Reconciliation and the Center for Human Rights Legal Action.

"We considered the court's ruling to be of great relevance because they are confirming that genocide is a crime that cannot be pardoned under any kind of amnesty,” they added.
The former dictator is now 89 years old and faces charges in the massacre against the Mayan community during his regime between 1982 and 1983.

The crime has been considered the bloodiest during the 36 years of the civil war in Guatemala (1960-1996) that left about 200,000 dead or disappeared. The United Nations has said the Guatemalan state is responsible for over 93 percent of abuses and violations committed during the conflict.

Rios Montt has evaded trial for genocide on one occasion before being diagnosed with dementia. He will now face a trial in absentia and in a special trial that will not send him to jail even if found guilty.

The new trial will begin Jan. 11, 2016, the court announced. The press will not be allowed in court, only the families of the victims.

Through a series of appeals and annulments pushed by his lawyers, the trial against Rios Montt has been prolonged for almost four years now.

However, he was found guilty of genocide May 10. 2013 after various months of hearings and he was sentenced to 80 years in jail. But the ruling was later revoked by the Constitutional Court who argued errors in the process. 
Edited by Ivan Martínez
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