Guatemala: general sentenced in 1982 massacre

After an 18-day trial, a Guatemalan court has sentenced former general Pedro Pimentel to 6,030 years in prison for his participation in the Dec. 6, 1982 massacre of 201 civilians–most of them women and children–in the village of Dos Erres in the northern department of Petén. The sentence, 30 years for each of the victims plus 30 years for crimes against humanity, was made public the night of March 12.

Pimentel, an officer in the elite Kaibiles battalion, which was specially trained in counterinsurgency, is the fifth member of the military to be sentenced for the massacre; the other four were sentenced on Aug. 2, 2011. Pimentel had been living in the US until the US government deported him in July 2011.

Five collaborators with the military were scheduled to go on trial on March 14 for their role in the July 18, 1982 massacre of 256 indigenous Mayans in the community of Plan de Sánchez, in Rabinal municipality, Verapaz department. Like the Dos Erres massacre, this atrocity took place during the dictatorship of Efraín Ríos Montt, who is now on trial for genocide and other crimes against humanity. (La Jornada, Mexico, March 14, from AFP, DPA, Notimex)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, March 18.

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