During the Central American wars of the 1980s, nearly 200,000 Guatemalans were killed or disappeared. The bloodiest period came during the presidential term of Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, when entire villages were burned and civilians, primarily indigenous people, were massacred.
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Rios Montt was a graduate of the U.S. School of the Americas and received millions of dollars in military aid from the U.S. He was also an evangelical/Pentecostal minister and a darling of the Religious Right.
A Guatemalan judge has now ordered Rios Montt to appear in court for a hearing to determine whether he should face prosecution on accusations of genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity. It’s 30 years too late, but still good news.
Meanwhile, some of his supporters and enablers in this country are still in government and others hold positions in prestigious foreign policy think tanks.
Can we ever expect justice here?
Duane Shank is Senior Policy Advisor for Sojourners. Follow Duane on Twitter @DShankDC.