Guatemala: court sentences ex-soldiers to over 6,000 years in prison

A Guatemalan court on Aug. 2 convicted and sentenced four former soldiers to 6,060 years in prison each on war crimes charges related to the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. Carlos Antonio Carias, Manuel Pop, Reyes Collin and Daniel Martínez were convicted of crimes against humanity for being members of a military force that killed more than 250 people in the village of Dos Erres during the 36-year Guatemalan civil war, though the men were ultimately held accountable for only 201 deaths. Three of the men were members of a special forces unit known as the Kaibiles, which is alleged to have played a role in the massacre. The military force was attempting to put down insurgents during Guatemala's military rule under Gen. Efrain Rios Montt. The men pleaded not guilty to the war crimes charges at the start of the trial last week, arguing that they were not stationed with the group that carried out the atrocities at Dos Erres. Twenty-three witnesses, including former military officials and survivors, testified at trial.

From Jurist, Aug. 3. Used with permission.

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