Press Releases

MADRE Applauds Conviction of Guatemalan Soldier; Urges Conviction of Former Dictator Ríos Montt

Posted on: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Keywords: Guatemala, Latin America and Caribbean, Human Rights Advocacy, Indigenous Rights

This week Pedro Pimentel Rios, a former member of an elite Guatemalan military force, was sentenced to 6,060 years in prison for his participation in the murders of 201 Indigenous Peoples during Guatemala’s civil war.

Rios is the fifth former special forces member to be sentenced to 6,060 years in prison for his role in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. During the massacre soldiers systematically destroyed the entire village, raping women and girls, killing indiscriminately and razing all the town’s buildings.

His sentence is a continuation of Guatemala’s efforts to address the mass atrocities committed by the US-backed military during the conflict, of which Dos Erres is just one of hundreds. Last month former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, who presided over the most brutal period of the war, including the Dos Erres massacre, was denied amnesty from the charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. He is currently still under house arrest, pending trial.

True justice will not be served until Ríos Montt is charged for the mass human rights abuses he ordered, particularly against Indigenous Peoples. MADRE supports the continued prosecution of all those involved in the egregious human rights violations committed during the decades-long war. We call for the immediate trial and conviction of Montt to ensure that he will not escape with impunity for his heinous crimes.


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