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(35,568 posts)
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:07 AM May 2013

Guate: Rios Montt genocide trial / 2nd day of conclusions, Prosecution wraps up

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 55m

- Perez: It is important to clarify that this case is transcendental for the country – for those who agree and for those who disagree.

- Perez: Because Guatemalan society is for the very first time speaking clearly about the atrocities that were committed.


- EP (Perez): I speak of the values that #RiosMontt spoke of every Sunday. He spoke of them but did not practice them.

- EP speaks of a ltr written by a GUA soldier explaining errors of the military, "a failure of ethics, basic values".

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 52m

They killed defenseless children, women, and elderly. We lost our values – values that were preached every Sunday but were not practiced.


- EP: This has been and is a Guatemalan tragedy. #GenocideGT

- EP: In dept of Quiche more than 300 massacres. The affected areas were particularly the Ixil and Ixcán. #GenocideGT

- EP: The military of GUA, the mil doctrine called it the Ixil triangle: Nebaj, Cotazl, Chajul.

- EP: #Genocide has a process of gestation. The seed of discrimination and racism is important to understand.

- EP: They came to tell you of horrifying terror, a level of terror that would horrify any human being. The evidence affirms these stories.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 47m

Perez: And they came to recount their living stories – shocking stories that would terrorize any human being. #Riosmontt #GenocidioGT


- EP explains the military understood 100% of the Ixil civil pop as a support base for the guerilla, as was explained yesterday.

- EP: It’s important to remember, what are the objectives of the plans, campaigns? To eliminate, annihilate, destroy

- EP: The essence of the Ixil group is to be Ixil & they were attacked for being Ixil.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 43m

Perez: We can’t speak of isolated incidents, of errors, when these are all part of a pattern.

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Guate: Rios Montt genocide trial / 2nd day of conclusions, Prosecution wraps up (Original Post) Catherina May 2013 OP
"Ixil group…resisted the imposition of colonization" They hung me, they hung me from a stick" Catherina May 2013 #1
military control Beatriz Manz encountered in the Ixil Catherina May 2013 #2
Trial SamKnause May 2013 #3
You are so welcome Catherina May 2013 #5
Trial 2 SamKnause May 2013 #7
Thank you! Catherina May 2013 #8
"Prosecutors Seek 75-Year Sentence for U.S.-Backed Guatemalan Dictator Ríos Montt in Genocide Trial" Catherina May 2013 #65
powerful & terrible moments in survivor testimony; rapes of women, assasination of children, torture Catherina May 2013 #4
CALDH lawyer Vivar closing... sexual violence was state policy. Killing "chocolates" Catherina May 2013 #6
... US influence on Natl Devt Plan, CIA warning military strategy = treating civil population Catherina May 2013 #9
Rios Montt about to give his declaration / Survivors: 'we knew this day would come' Catherina May 2013 #10
Not sure when this was taken but it was just posted Catherina May 2013 #11
Rios Montt has just indicated his desire to speak to court Catherina May 2013 #12
No one can ever forget Catherina May 2013 #13
Prosecution tells Montt conclusions isn't appropriate time for him to speak. Yelling Catherina May 2013 #14
We ask Rios Montt's lawyer Gudiel to avoid these type of comments Catherina May 2013 #15
Why can't Montt speak during closing arguments? Catherina May 2013 #16
Redacted US diplomatic cables as evidence of genocide Catherina May 2013 #17
closing arguments time is not for Montt to speak / Interruption Catherina May 2013 #18
Barrios grants Montt time to speak. 30 years Guatemala has been waiting Catherina May 2013 #19
Montt wants to make statement with notes. Judge says no notes Catherina May 2013 #20
Rios Montt speaks: "I'm going to tell you the story" Catherina May 2013 #21
Montt speaks: Rejects the findings of Amnesty International report during his administration Catherina May 2013 #22
OMG. Montt: "The point was 4 these Kakchiqueles, Ixiles, Quiches, Mames, to create a state TOGETHER" Catherina May 2013 #23
Montt: I will never accept guilt for the charges. I was the head of state Catherina May 2013 #24
Even the Pope pleaded to Montt to stop his atrocities Catherina May 2013 #53
Interesting factoid. Montt's brother, Bishop Mario Rios Mont, investigated the deaths Catherina May 2013 #54
Montt: it's the fault of the army and its sergeants (OMG, the lies, the lies here) Catherina May 2013 #25
Montt: "I met with Reagan in SanPedroSula and we didn't ask for weapons, we couldn't even get loans" Catherina May 2013 #26
Montt: "I never ordered acts against an ethnicity or religion. Never!.. I was not a zone commander!" Catherina May 2013 #27
Montt: I looked at Plan Victoria 82, there's nothing written abt objective to destroy a people Catherina May 2013 #28
Montt: Current Minister of Interior killed, kidnapped, won't be prosecuted & I am responsible? Catherina May 2013 #29
Montt: The Workers Party went to kill & spill blood. Now I'm the one with the charges? Catherina May 2013 #30
Defense is called to give closing arguments. Requests lunch break instead. Food is a human right now Catherina May 2013 #31
Montt lawyer: Against my will, I will give my statements in a state of hunger. Catherina May 2013 #32
BREAKING NEWS: President Perez Molina announces he will withdraw the declared state of siege.... Catherina May 2013 #33
Prosecution Closing Argument (Livestream link) Catherina May 2013 #34
Rios Montt never planned, never organized, never executed, and never supervised any act ... Catherina May 2013 #35
Defense claims too much hearsay and science not reliable. Expert degrees not valid in Guate Catherina May 2013 #36
Defense: "Human rights violations? No one has established there were any." Catherina May 2013 #37
Defense refers to "non-existant intl jurisprudence" Catherina May 2013 #38
Video of Rioss Montt protesting his innocence "I'm going to tell you a story" Catherina May 2013 #39
Pics of Montt protesting his innocence taken a few minutes ago Catherina May 2013 #40
A large group of survivors from Ixil & other regions leaves, another group takes their place Catherina May 2013 #41
Defense says Plan Sofia/Victoria evidence was instead plan for natl devt and well-being. Catherina May 2013 #42
Defense: If the guerillas had won, we'd be like Venezuela, like Chavez. Hippies, little chinaman Catherina May 2013 #43
Montt defense lawyer proposing to criminalize leaks. Denying validity .... Catherina May 2013 #44
"Harris Whitbeck showed how the state protected the population in refugee camps." Catherina May 2013 #45
Defense: "It has been established that there was no genocide... Catherina May 2013 #46
Defense: "no genocide. It was armed conflict and unfortunate deaths." Catherina May 2013 #47
Defense is going on and on that Guate never signed intl agreements and Catherina May 2013 #48
Unbelievable events. How can Rios-Montt sit there without being hit by lightning? Judi Lynn May 2013 #49
I don't know. He has a lot of gall. All of those involved do Catherina May 2013 #64
Defense points to one British Lord, Viscount Colville de Culross as *proof* Catherina May 2013 #50
Finally lunch break (It's 3:45 PM in Guatemala) Catherina May 2013 #51
“Faces of Impunity” enemies list published online Catherina May 2013 #52
Victim of Rios Montt watching herself on PBS newshour, inside court Catherina May 2013 #55
Court reconvenes. Defense closing arguments to continue. PowerPoints of Impunity Catherina May 2013 #56
Defense: "Truth was changed in order to find reconciliation." Screaming Catherina May 2013 #57
Defense: "The chain of command does not include the chief of military intelligence." Catherina May 2013 #58
Two victims in court Catherina May 2013 #59
The defense screams on. Even PowerPoint has lots of ALL CAPS Catherina May 2013 #60
AJR: "we indigenous were accused of being terrorists, communists, subversives & genocide committed' Catherina May 2013 #61
Human Rights Legal Action Center gives concluding statement Catherina May 2013 #62
Ríos Montt speaks again: "I only ask for justice" Catherina May 2013 #63
Thanks so much for these updates naaman fletcher May 2013 #66
Street Art: Yes, there was genocide Catherina May 2013 #67
If a guilty verdict, some supporters of Montt have warned of "civil war." Catherina May 2013 #68
Video to remind what is at stake: 'They threw me around like a ball' Catherina May 2013 #69
Video History Lesson - Guatemala - An American Genocide Catherina May 2013 #70
An even better video: Ending the Silence Catherina May 2013 #71


(35,568 posts)
1. "Ixil group…resisted the imposition of colonization" They hung me, they hung me from a stick"
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:19 AM
May 2013

- EP: Systematic patters show political & strategic plan of the de facto state in 1982-1983. #GenocideGT

- Edgar Pérez speaks of eyewitness testimony to massacre in Chel; anniversary is tomorrow.

- E Pérez highlights horrors recounted by #GenocideGT survivors. Mentions Tiburcio Utuy testimony, read more here

- EPérez for AJR testifies he's heard 1000s of stories similiar to those of witnesses; they indicate a systematic pattern.

- EP: We have to remember the Ixil group…resisted the imposition of colonization.

- EP: We can’t confuse this resistance as one of guerrillas or terrorists, as some people call them.

- EP: The witnesses told us...how many ppl died of hunger, fear, illness...they told us of bombings, attacks in the mtns

- EP: The patrol reports in Plan Sofía explain they lived in cold, hunger,. It's truly sad, what this means for Guatemalans.

- (1/2) EP speaks of witness testimony, her baby died when she had to put a cloth in their mouth to stifle cries or be discovered by army.

- (2/2) "Imagine, she had to sacrifice her child to protect the others."

- EP: We should remember everything that Tiburcio told us. Read Tiburcio's testimony here: http://ow.ly/kRQd7

(Excerpt below)
Tiburcio Utuy:

There were families going to visit that woman’s house, but the military was able to see the two women, one up ahead and the other right on the road. They caught up to the first woman and they macheted her in the head and they dragged her like a dog. They took her to a house and surrounded it. The family was there wailing. The other woman went running and the military caught up to her at her house. They took her out of the house and put her on the patio in front of the house. The military had her mother in law... They tied her up by her hands and feet. They knocked her down and opened up her stomach. She was pregnant and they took the baby from the womb. When they took the baby out they threw it against a tree in front of the house. We felt a great pain, what guilt did the baby have still in the womb of the mother?

I saw this. They burned the first house and burned the whole family inside. There was screaming inside, the children, the women, they were burned to ash. Later, when the military finished killing the pregnant women, they came down to the catechist’s house. He thought they wouldn’t kill him and so he started to pray inside his house. But then they put the mayor inside and they shot at the house killing the whole family, his whole family. They killed him. After they died they took their things, clothes and bags, and they put them on top of the people and set it afire. They were in a clay house, so the house didn’t catch fire, just the people with their things on top of them, their blankets, caught fire. They were scorched. There were two or three people. Eight or nine days after February 16, the military commissioner was there, he thought because he was a commissioner they wouldn’t kill him so he didn’t leave his house. He was there with his brother, another ex-commissioner, and there were around 5 families in the same little place. The military killed everyone, they were scorched, around 15 people, the family of the military commissioner.

We, the population, saw that we had to withdraw to the valley behind the community. We stayed in a large creek for 15 days, sending lookouts to see where military entered and also to check on the food that was left because they burned the houses. They destroyed the corn, the animals, the cows, sheep, dogs, and chickens. We stayed in the creek for 15 days. The military started burning the woods in various places so that the fire would kill the people. They thought we were still there, but we had retreated to the creek to later move to the large river, Xalbal. We crossed to the other side of the river to defend ourselves. We were there 15 days thinking, What are we going to do? Should we go to the other side of the river or go back to the community? But then we saw everyone from Xonca and other communities where there were massacres. They killed people there, I don’t know how many. In Pulai they filled the church and machine gunned them. They killed the people and the survivors came in groups. There were other groups from Latista, near Nebaj, who also came.


I tell you judges, I’m not lying. We couldn’t enter into the community because they were going to say, Why did you flee? We met as leaders, as survivors, and we communicated to see what we would do. We decided to leave because maybe they will come over land and kill us all. Thank God a fog came down and covered the mountain where we were and we were able to leave around 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon. We went up and then down and we arrived at Sumalito around 10pm. When we got there the people were still awake, they hadn’t gone to sleep yet, and they gave us a place to stay for a few hours. They said you can only stay here for a short while because if you stay here too long they might kill us too. They gave us permission to rest a few hours.

The next day we went down to the river. It was big. We had to cross two mountains but we gathered the huge group of people. We were 1,999 families. We were many people and we came from many places. That is why I said each group had their leaders, to guide us, to help us decide where to go. We crossed the river around three or four in the morning. It was hard to get all of the people, women, children, elderly, and pregnant women, across the river because they all had to cross using the pieces of wood in the river. We were thinking about what would we do when a helicopter came. They didn’t see us because we hid in a creek again. That’s how we left our community.

... We had to cross rivers, ravines, mountains.

... There was great suffering. Little by little we planted crops…We were able to plant malanga, sugar cane, yucca, guiskil, to keep ourselves fed in those places. We suffered greatly, there was nothing to eat. During those months in 1982, we had to eat…sweet potatoes…The cold in the mountains made us sick, gave us coughs, measles, diarrhea. Many children died in the mountains. The suffering [continued] when the military came in 1983 to Santa Clara. They camped out in bases in 5 places and they created a military fence around the people so we couldn’t get out. At that moment the food ran out, we didn’t even have wild grasses. We went out to get some handfuls of sugar cane…We weren't thinking that we might be ambushed. I walked calmly ahead, and all of a sudden the military grabbed me by the neck. I screamed. The other two turned back and ran back to the community. I said, don’t hit me, don’t kill me. They took me. They had burned everything in Santa Clara.


I said, "What do you mean? I don’t know."
"Yes you know. If you wont say, we’ll have to force you."
"How can I say, I can’t tell lies."
"You have to tell us."
"I don’t know."

They hung me, they hung me from a stick, I was hanging and I don’t know if it was minutes or hours because I lost feeling. Later, when I came to I was on the ground. Then my eyes lit up with red, black, and blue lights in my vision. When they saw I lifted my head, they sat me up. They said, "Tell us where the guerrilla is, where do they come from, who are they."
"I don’t know, I can’t tell lies, I’m telling the truth I don’t know."
"Oh, you don’t want to collaborate?"
"I don’t know what this 'collaborate' is, what I know of collaboration is to give some pennies, I don’t have any money, I’m poor."
"You don’t want to tell us?"
"Sirs, I don’t know."

…They tied me up by the feet and head. They had my legs backwards touching my head so that my stomach was exposed. Suddenly I felt burning in my stomach, they burned me on the stomach, the neck and the testicles.

I’m telling the truth, before the eyes of the world, I’m telling you I was hurt by the military. Here are my scars. I’m not lying, look, here are my scars. My intestines fell out onto the floor, and I felt this tremendous pain, I said, "Ay, what pain!" What suffering I felt at that moment when my intestines fell to the floor. I’m not here telling lies, what I experienced, the suffering I felt, what the military did to me, I am telling this to the whole world. When my intestines were outside, I was able to put my intestines back in with my fingers and my fingers reached all the way inside.

They said, "Está sabroso? Is it tasty?" That's what they said. The planes that passed by said that there was amnesty, that there was peace. I said to the officer, "Is this peace? They said, "Por bruto no quieres decir. Because you are stubborn, you don't want to answer." I said, "I have my animals, my sheep, my cows, my horse, my chickens. I’m not a thief, I’m not lying, I'm an agricultural worker." This is why I am telling this to the eyes and ears of the world, this is the suffering we felt then.

Later they tied me up again, seated on the floor. An officer came with a large stick, one meter long and three inches wide. They first blow was to my mouth. The force he hit me with made me fall to the floor. I turned my head because I wanted to see if he was going to keep killing me. The next blow came to my head and I fell to the other side. Then the third one was to my mouth. I lifted my head, I still had some feeling. I was left dead, for seven or eight hours, from 10am to 5:30pm. That’s what I remembered, that around 5pm I was on the floor. I was hurt with the beating they gave me, blood in my mouth, all of my clothes were already burned and now were running with blood. I woke. Then I saw that it was starting to get dark out. There was a soldier watching me and I was left outside in the drizzle all night. There was a change of guard and the soldier said, "What happened to you?" I said, "I’m in so much pain because of the military." "Because you were stupid, you didn’t collaborate." In the morning, I was there beneath the rain. Around 8am a helicopter came. They woke me. They untied my hands and feet.

They took me to the helicopter and brought me to Nebaj. In Nebaj they presented me to the people in Nebaj, to all the people that were gathered there. They put green clothes on me, a shirt, pants and cap. They said, look at the guerrilla, we captured him but they had put those clothes on me. Because I was so beaten they said to the people, "If any of you join the guerrilla, the same thing will happen to you." They brought me again to the military base, except it was not a base exactly, it was a medical post that they had turned into a military base. The officer there interviewed me.


They brought me to a car and there were two Galil weapons there. They brought me to Quiche and shut me up in a room larger than this one. This room was full of blood... The shoes, the belts were piled two meters high and wide, you could see the traces of people who had been killed there. They tied me up and left me sitting in blood.

This pain, this suffering, I was there in the blood of my dear brothers and sisters who had been killed. What does this mean, what does this mean? Could it be that there was not genocide during this year? I mean, by the people in the government that year, Ríos Montt. I suffered with my own body, my pain and suffering. It’s a lie when they say there was no genocide. I am telling the truth that happened because I saw it. That is what happened in 1983.

(court testimony, public record in Guatemala, no copyright)



(35,568 posts)
2. military control Beatriz Manz encountered in the Ixil
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:40 AM
May 2013


EP refers to military control Beatriz Manz encountered in the Ixil. Read unofficial rush transcript of testimony

Excerpt below

Public Prosecutor: Did you come to Guatemala in the 1980s? What did you do?

I first came to Guatemala in 1973 as a student of the State University of New York. I came to do my doctoral thesis research in Santa Cruz del Quiché. Later, my investigation focus changed. Based on questions asked by villages in Santa Cruz del Quiché, I went to the southern coast and Ixcán. 


Talking to refugees in the Lacandon Jungle, I found out about an even more critical situation in the Ixil region. More critical because the situation was more advanced in the Ixil region. They indicated that people couldn’t flee as refugees because of the distance (from the border) and the level of repression. In 1983, I went to the Ixil region; I went to Nebaj, Chajul. At each stage of the journey, I noticed the changes that Quiché had undergone; I noticed the large quantity of soldiers and military controls. Traveling through Chichicastenango, Santa Cruz del Quiché, Sacapulas and then arriving in the Ixil region, I observed a greatly increased military presence.


In 1982, as I said, there were 36,000 refugees mostly from the Ixcán and Huehuetenango. Aside from 36,000 in 1982, there were thousands of Guatemalans who had fled from the military that were not in refugee camps. In 1983, according to COMAR and the United Nation's Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OACNUDH), there were 850,000 confirmed as Guatemalan refugees, dispersed throughout the world. As you know they went as far as the United States where there are more than 1 million Guatemalans today

Were there Ixiles?

Yes, but few. It was difficult for the Ixiles to arrive because of distance and difficult of finding ways out… According to a census conducted by COMAR on languages spoken by refugees, less than 1000 were Ixiles.

Doctor, why did you go to the Ixil region?

I heard in interviews in the Lacandon Jungle that the situation was critical in the Ixil region. I went to see if it was true.


According to interviews and the information you analyzed, were you able to tell who executed the massacres of families?

Yes, they said military had entered to execute massacres. Once displaced in mountains or in the jungle, the military continued to pursue them. They cut down their crops, and destroyed any type of food they had. For that reason, the families suffered greatly. They came to a moment they never before imagined; they were forced to leave their own country. They were in hiding for a long time but realized that the military was occupying more and more territory and it would be impossible to return. They also realized that there was nothing to return to - no community, no church, no school, nothing. 

In the Ixcán, this was very hard. I originally went there to see how farmers from the highlands were colonizing the land. The people had cleared the land there with their own hands and arms. They had called it Paradise, the Promised Land…. and everything they had built, all their hard work was destroyed in 24 hrs, in one day. It was psychologically devastating to see everything destroyed...to arrive at (refugee) camps in Mexico. They had lost their ability to work in their own fields, everything was destroyed. They had to walk for weeks from Guatemala to Mexico, that’s why they arrived to Mexico so hurt. What had been done to their country was something unforgivable.

As you can see in this photo (referring to submitted evidence), people arrived barefoot with no clothes. A group of refugees in camp Puerto Rico arrived, there were hundreds or people already there. There, they found two children nude who were so traumatized they couldn’t say where their parents were or what had happened or why they were naked. They arrived in bad conditions. Six women from Santa María Tzejá gave birth in the jungle. One lost her son, the other five were able to arrive with their babies but they were in very bad condition, with eye infections and malnourished. They were in terrible human condition.

Were there also elderly?

Oh yes, there is a photo of a person who could barely walk but the hope of crossing the border encouraged them to arrive. Some were lost on the road; others arrived to the camps with gun wounds.

Can you explain the relocation of refugee camps? Were they close or far from the border?

In 1984 the Mexican government decided to relocate the Guatemalan population near the border. They brought them to Campeche and Quintana Roo, partly because, according to the interviews I conducted in Mexico, the Mexican government was worried about the Guatemala military entering Mexican territory. The Guatemalan military entered into the refugee camps and killed people on Mexican territory. The Mexican government had two options: either invade Guatemala or put troops on the border, which they didn’t want to do. However, they wanted to protect their country's sovereignty so they decided to move the refugees. I followed the path of the relocation from the Lacandon Jungle to Campeche and Quintana Roo. Some Guatemala refugees refused to be relocated. I crossed the river from Camp Puerto Rico to visit them and asked them why. They told me they refused to leave their country.

Did you compare the Ixil and Ixcán regions?

Yes, this was always important to my methodology as an anthropologist. For the sake of comparison, I visited cotton, sugar and coffee plantations; I interviewed workers who came from the cold highlands and also plantation owners. That’s why I went to the Ixcán, to understand Santa Cruz del Quiché. I went to Zacapa, the Verapaces, Chimaltenango and Xela. I visited many communities to try to understand the situation.

Did you ever see anti-subversive propaganda?

Yes, I saw pamphlets. I have a collection that features drawings showing a terrorist with a tail and an ugly demented face. One pamphlet shows what the military did, drawings of burned houses, killed people, kidnapped children, and total destruction... evil things. I saw different pamphlets, yes.

When traveling from Guatemala City to the Ixil region in March 1983, did you see any buses or cars that were stopped and had passengers taken out?

There were many checkpoints; in some there were troops watching and taking names in notebooks, asking people to show their documents. This occurred during the whole trip there and back. If one travelled by bus, the military would ask everyone to get out and identify themselves.

Did you see if any other Guatemalans could arrive freely in that region?

It depended on the situation. For example, there were people from churches. In the case of evangelical pastor Ray Elliot who came with others from the Unite States, Efraín Ríos Montt provided them with a helicopter and ordered that they be brought in by helicopter. Certain people didn’t need the kind of permission I needed.

My previous question wasn't referring to foreigners, were there any Guatemalan journalists or academics able to travel to the region?

No, I didn’t see any.



Public record. No copyright


EP: Kaltschmitt denied and denied it, but in the end accepted there were refugees.


(12,956 posts)
3. Trial
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:45 AM
May 2013

Thanks Catherina.

You always do such a marvelous job !!!

I heard on Democracy Now today there may be a decision today.

They still fear the trial will be stopped, or assassinations may occur.

There have been assassination threats.

Thanks again.


(35,568 posts)
5. You are so welcome
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:04 PM
May 2013

This trial grips me. Especially since the racism that caused this is here.

There have been more than assassination threats, there have been outright assassinations over the years to stop this trial. Monsignore Juan José Gerardi Conedera was the most prominent one. The judge moves nowhere without a ton of bodyguards. Many witnesses would only testify by videocamera and the US reporter Allan Nairn was threatened (gun just laid on the table while suggesting he should develop a faulty memory and lose his tapes of President Molina's involvement as an Army officer).

The bravery of the people who came to testify is more than anyone can imagine, especially the women who broke cultural taboos and detailed their rapes, their torture explicitly. They better get justice.

Is the Democracy Now segment online? DO you have a link? I'm so proud of them for covering this. Thanks for reading these.


(12,956 posts)
7. Trial 2
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:19 PM
May 2013

Here is the link for Democracy Now.


They do a great job of reporting the news, not fluff.

Just click on 'Prosecutors seek 75-year sentence for U.S. backed Guatemalan dictator Rios Montt in genocide trial'.

It is the fourth video under Stories May 9, 2013 on front page.


(35,568 posts)
8. Thank you!
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:21 PM
May 2013

As soon as there's a break with this, I'll go listen. I agree with you about Democracy Now. I have a lot of respect for them. They're worth more than the entire MSM put together.


(35,568 posts)
65. "Prosecutors Seek 75-Year Sentence for U.S.-Backed Guatemalan Dictator Ríos Montt in Genocide Trial"
Thu May 9, 2013, 07:52 PM
May 2013
Just found it. Thank you Sam


Closing arguments have begun in the historic trial against U.S.-backed Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, the first head of state in the Americas to stand trial for genocide. Ríos Montt is charged with overseeing the slaughter of more than 1,700 people in Guatemala’s Ixil region after he seized power in 1982. The trial has been revived after it was suspended due to intervention by Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina and death threats by army associates against judges and prosecutors. On Wednesday, prosecutors asked for Ríos Montt to be sentenced to 75 years in prison. Defense lawyers are expected to give closing arguments today. We’re joined by investigative journalist Allan Nairn in Guatemala City. In the 1980s, Nairn extensively documented broad army responsibility for the massacres.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We go from Chicago to Guatemala. Juan?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, we end today’s show with an update on the historic trial against U.S.-backed Guatemalan—former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. He is the first head of state in the Americas to stand trial for genocide. The trial had been suspended but has since been revived. Ríos Montt is charged with overseeing the slaughter of more than 1,700 people in Guatemala’s Ixil region after he seized power in 1982. On Wednesday, prosecutors asked for Ríos Montt to be sentenced to 75 years in prison. Ríos Montt’s defense team is expected to give closing arguments today.

AMY GOODMAN: During the trial, Guatemala’s current president, Otto Pérez Molina, was also directly accused of ordering executions during Guatemala’s decades-long campaign against the Maya indigenous people. A former military mechanic named Hugo Reyes told the court President Pérez Molina, then serving as an army major and using the name Tito Arias, ordered soldiers to burn and pillage a Maya Ixil area in the 1980s.

We’re going now to Guatemala City to Allan Nairn, investigative journalist. In the 1980s, Allan Nairn extensively documented broad army responsibility for the massacres and was prepared to present evidence at the trial, though he didn’t ultimately testify.

Allan, welcome back to Democracy Now! Tell us what’s happening today. You expect a verdict and a sentence?

ALLAN NAIRN: It’s possible. The trial—the trial was killed, essentially, after intervention by Guatemala’s president on April 18th, but now it apparently is on the verge of being revived. There was a fierce backlash against the efforts by the president, General Pérez Molina, to stop the trial, resistance from within Guatemala, also internationally. And yesterday afternoon, the trial got back to business. They began closing statements. The prosecutors presented their request for a 75-year sentence Ríos Montt and also that he be taken from house arrest and placed in jail to prevent him from fleeing the country after the verdict.

It’s possible a verdict could come today, but it’s also possible that it could be—the trial could be shut down at the last minute. There have been repeated death threats against judges and prosecutors. Yesterday, Ríos Montt’s lawyer, in open court, threatened to have the judges thrown in jail. A higher court could be used politically to kill the case at the last moment. So it’s really hanging in the balance. The case could be finished off today, or it could be allowed to reach a verdict.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Allan, the significance of this case? Is Ríos Montt the first former head of state tried within his own country for genocide?

ALLAN NAIRN: Yes, and this is being done within the domestic court system. It’s been a tremendous political struggle. It’s been led by the survivors of the massacres. They’ve been fighting for this for decades. And they’re on the brink of getting a verdict, of actually enforcing the murder laws.

But there are many people in the Guatemalan oligarchy, in the military, who don’t like it. They see this trial as a threat to their way of life, as a threat to their ability to continue to carry on local assassinations, which still happen in the Guatemalan countryside. In fact, as we speak, the president, General Pérez Molina, has imposed a state of siege in four municipalities to try to put down popular resistance against Canadian-U.S. silver mining projects.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you expect this verdict and sentence to actually happen today, and do you think it’s possible, 75 years?

ALLAN NAIRN: It could, if the trial is allowed to proceed without interference. It could—it could be put off until tomorrow. You can’t really predict what the verdict will be, but the prosecution has presented a very powerful, well-documented case, with the testimony of dozens upon dozens of massacre survivors, thousands of pages of documents. And Ríos Montt’s defense has not really put up a factual defense. Ríos Montt has refused to speak. They’ve just used politics, outside intervention, to try to kill the case.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you, Allan, for being with us. Allan Nairn, investigative journalist. If the verdict does come down, we’ll be going to Guatemala City tomorrow to cover the story. He was asked to testify in Guatemala in the landmark trial against the former U.S.-backed dictator, Efraín Ríos Montt, on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, though he ultimately didn’t testify. The trial could end today with a verdict and sentence. Go to our website at democracynow.org for the latest.

he original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to "democracynow.org".



(35,568 posts)
4. powerful & terrible moments in survivor testimony; rapes of women, assasination of children, torture
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:53 AM
May 2013

- EP: You remember a group of women, brave women, who came here and talked about sexual abuses. A taboo topic in this country.

- EP: Sexual abuse isn't talked about in communities...These women told their story, they shared their story before all of GUA.

- EP closing speaks of powerful & terrible moments in survivor testimony; rapes of women, assasination of children, torture.

- EP: There was the case documented in Plan Sofia, "eliminated 2 chocolates". Chocolates=children

- EP: Against whom were these attacks perpetrated? Against the Maya Ixil group.

- "If they aren’t armed, if they aren’t a combatant, if they aren’t doing something illegal, it is their resistance being attacked."

- ( @NISGUA_Guate These words by AJR lawyer Edgar Pérez in today's #GenocideGT trial closing arguments could easily be spoken today. )

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 53m

Our summary of the dramatic developments in the #RiosMontt trial yesterday that led us to closing arguments today.


- EPérez #GenocideGT closing: How do they fabricate an internal enemy?...Who was the enemy? It was the civil population.

- EPérez: Ixiles were denied using the very bathroom outside the courtroom. Racism is deeply ingrained in our country.

- EPérez: It's from the colony, the criollos, who started to foment this racism, this disharmony.

- EPérez: Military hierarchy capable of reacting. #RiosMontt said himself, "If I cant control the military, what am I doing here?"

- EPérez: How can it be that he didn't know, for the love of God? You can't deny it, you can't deny the undeniable.

- EPérez: It was also done in Rwanda. Enemies w/whom there's no discussion, no negotiation creating absolute enemies.. to later justify abuse.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 39m

- Perez: These enemies were absolute enemies, it was not negotiable. Does this justify the abuse?

- Perez: Did the Ixil victims die in combat? No. They were executed extra-judicially.


- EPérez: #RiosMontt assumed exec. branch, the military, he named supreme court… I'm not making it up. He created absolute power.

- Pérez: Can children be considered guerrilla? No. It'd be like saying any descendant of accused can be charged of same crimes.

- EPérez: In the military context, intelligence is key to the political, counterinsurgent strategy.

- EPérez: The accused are responsible of which they are accused. Each of the charges have been proven.

- EPérez: As Public Prosecutor Lopez said yesterday, we request a firm sentence. Justice without strength is tyranny.

- Perez: I'm asking that we do justice for the memory of the victims and for the history of #Guatemala"

- EPérez: All witnesses want justice & that history not be repeated. I don't want my children nor grandchildren to relive it.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 31m

- Perez: What the witnesses want is justice and that this dark history of Guatemala never be repeated

- Perez: The Ixiles say to us: 'they look at us as if we have no dignity, as if we were savages. But we are human beings'.


(35,568 posts)
6. CALDH lawyer Vivar closing... sexual violence was state policy. Killing "chocolates"
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:17 PM
May 2013

- Lawyer Vivar beings his #GenocideGT closing arguments on behalf of CALDH. (Centre for Human Rights Legal Action)

- Vivar: I speak on behalf of the victims, names now engraved in our mind. Read testimonies from 1st days of trial

- Viviar: This case is heard in the natl courts…That we be seen as a civilized ppl capable of confronting our dark history.

- Francisco Vivar: We want to be seen as a civilized ppl capable of confronting our dark history. That we serve as an example to all.

- Vivar: Guatemala has an obligation to fulfill international law. An obligation to respect fundamental rights.

- Vivar: The Geneva Convention is applicable to domestic armed conflicts, as in the case of Guatemala.

- Vivar: We have proof, testimonial evidence. With their stories, between 80-90% of witnesses proved that these events happened.

- The #GenocideGT courtroom is packed today, w/ppl sitting on the stairs in order to hear the closing arguments.

- Vivar: The testimonies demonstrate there was pillage, destruction, forced labor, slavery by the military.

- Vivar: Women came to...share their story (of sexual violence) despite being stigmatized. We have to hear their voice.

- Vivar: Rape constitutes torture.

- Vivar references Blanca Nieves & Paloma Sorias. Read about their & other expert witness testimony

- CALDH lawyer Vivar closing: Paloma Sorias testified sexual violence was state policy.

The proceedings on April 11, day 15 of the genocide trial, started with a formal protest by the prosecution, with Edgar Pérez filing a formal protest that entrance to the courtroom and public bathroom access has been limited to the indigenous survivors coming to witness the historic trial against Efraín Ríos Montt and José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez.
Edgar Perez: The acts of racism that are committed below toward the victims who enter the courtroom are incredible. #GenocideGT
— NISGUA (@NISGUA_Guate) April 11, 2013

Edgar Perez: I see patterns of racism and xenophobia from the internal armed conflict being repeated in the courtroom. #GenocideGT
— NISGUA (@NISGUA_Guate) April 11, 2013

The day continued with extensive testimony by expert witnesses, most notably that of political analyst Marco Tulio Álvarez Bobadilla, former director of the Peace Archives, and Ramón Cadena, President of the International Commission of Jurists.

Álvarez submitted a report on the displacement of children in the Ixil region analyzing the military plans Victoria '82, Firmeza '83 and Operation Sofia. He highlighted the broader guidelines established by the military, which translated into operations and actions in the field.

The displacement of children was not an isolated act but a policy followed by the military institution...children were included as an internal enemy [of the state]. ... Children are identified in the army manual, which includes enemies that were not participants in the subversion but supporters. This broadened the definition of internal enemy.

In a particularly disturbing example of children as targets, Álvarez read a military report from the field included in Plan Sofia. A woman was hiding and upon discovery soldiers killed her, "eliminating her and two chocolates". Chocolates, said Álvarez, were the military's designation for children.

Álvarez also named the military strategy targeting children as an attack against the Maya Ixil culture, an element of genocide.

In many cases the transfer of children meant forced disappearance, with family members unable to locate them afterwards. ...These children were denied their identity…the social fabric was destroyed in the attack against the Ixil culture.


Using key passages from military plans, Cadena illustrated not only the military's intention to dismiss international standards of protecting the civil population but also their blatant violation of civilians' rights.

The military Plan Victoria 82 says, “The great masses of indigenous in the highlands of the nation have found an echo in the proclamations of subversives.” Plan Operation Sofia names 100% of the Ixil population as supporters of the subversives.The military doctrine allows justification of cruel attacks against the civil population and genocide against the Ixil population. Plan Firmeza 83 establish on pages 5-8, “The principal objective is to reach their physical and psychological control of the population.”

By 1981, an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) document concluded, "a situation has been created in Guatemala in which a lack of respect for human life and the laws that protect them predominate… The application of physical and psychological constraints of cruel and inhuman treatment has transgressed the limits of being a method of obtaining information or inflicting punishment, and has become a system of killing citizens."



Vivar highlights terrifying testimonies of sexual violence. "There are too many stories from the women to share them all."


(35,568 posts)
9. ... US influence on Natl Devt Plan, CIA warning military strategy = treating civil population
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:30 PM
May 2013

- In closing arguments for CALDH in #GenocideGT trial, lawyer Francisco Vivar highlights US influence on Natl Devt Plan.

- US linked to Natl Devt Plan in trial conclusions; yesterday pub prosecutor analyzed this plan as key component of mil #GenocideGT strategy

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 26m

- Vivar: The war in #Guatemala was carried out through military, political, and social policy.

- Vivar now quoting C.I.A., warning the GUA military strategy could mean treating civil population same as enemy combatants.

- Vivar: Soldiers were reporting that there were no guerrillas in area of operations, confirming what victims were saying: they had left.

- Lawyer Vivar in #GenocideGT closing arguments: You can't deny the undeniable.

- Vivar: Patrol informs commander, commander informs head of military's High Command. You can see how they informed one another.

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 12m

As CALDH’s Francisco Vivar recounts Ixil testimony of rape, atty. Garcia Gudiel leans over to Ríos Montt, whispers something, they laugh.


- CALDH Lawyer Vivar: Plan Firmez 83 celebrated the success of Plan Sofía. The plan to assasinate civilians was carried out.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 12m

Vivar: Lines of communication ensured that #Riosmontt knew what was happening in the Ixil area. #GenocidioGT #Guatemala


- Vivar continues to focus on lines of communication bet high command & ops, stating #RiosMontt received all info

- Vivar points out military didn't distinguish between civil pop & combatants in violation of intl humanitarian law.

- Expert witness Ramón Cadena spoke to intl humanitarian law in his testimony

- Vivar states #JMRodriguez defined the enemy & w/o his order the acts would not have been committed in the same way.

- Vivar: "Honorable court, I make my petition. I want to revisit what Pedro Pacheco said, 'I have children but they ask me 'why don't I have grandparents?'...I tell them what happened. It's not written but it is in my heart. I tell them so it is not repeated."


(35,568 posts)
10. Rios Montt about to give his declaration / Survivors: 'we knew this day would come'
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:34 PM
May 2013

#RiosMontt about to give his declaration in the #GenocideGT courtroom.

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 4m

- Ríos Montt wants to talk. First, he goes to the bathroom. Press swarms around stand awaiting his return.

- This looks like it will be first time Ríos Montt has spoken in his defense, in whole trial. Mostly silent; no words in own defense before.

- Ríos Montt is about to speak. Courtroom buzzes with chatter.

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 11s

Rios Montt's Counterinsurgency Campaign: U.S. and Guatemalan Documents Describe the Strategy Behind Scorched Earth


We just asked AJR survivors: Did you ever think this day would come, that would be about to listen to #RiosMontt? All: Yes, of course.


(35,568 posts)
12. Rios Montt has just indicated his desire to speak to court
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:40 PM
May 2013
Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 1m

All photogs gather around empty stand where Ríos Montt will sit and address court for first time.

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 1m

Ríos Montt & Garcia Gudiel (his lawyer). The defendant has just indicated his desire to speak to court.


(35,568 posts)
14. Prosecution tells Montt conclusions isn't appropriate time for him to speak. Yelling
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:48 PM
May 2013

Last edited Fri May 10, 2013, 02:34 AM - Edit history (1)


- #RIosMonttt invokes his right to make statement. Prosecution team argues he had chance to speak, & conclusions isn't appropriate time.

- Barrios found in favor of prosecution, now is not appropriate time. #RiosMontt will not make statement. #GenocideGT

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 1m

L-R: Rodriguez Sanchez, atty. Paloma, Ríos Montt, atty. Gudiel. Defense attys are right now addressing court.

And from volume II of Way to Make Friends and influence enemies...
Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 1m

Gudiel yells at Judge Barrios, tells her the law says judges are never supposed to interrupt an attorney while he is speaking.


Gudiel argues that #RiosMontt can speak whenever he wants. Crowd audiby reacts & Judge Barrios reminds courtroom to maintain respect.

And from volume VI of Way to Make Friends and influence enemies...

#RiosMontt lawyer Gudiel referring to prosecution: It appears these poor people have learned nothing at university. #GenocideGT

This is Defense lawyer Francisco Garcia Gudiel.


(35,568 posts)
15. We ask Rios Montt's lawyer Gudiel to avoid these type of comments
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:52 PM
May 2013

- EPerez interrupts: We have been completely respectful... mutually respectful. We ask the lawyer to avoid these type of comments.

- Judge Barrios: Here we are going to respect the professional code of ethics of the Guate Bar Association & Judicial System.

- Gudiel: I'd like to say that my behavior yesterday was misinterpreted, it was not my attention to offend you

( -Yesterday @EmisorasUnidas reported Ramón Cadena (Pres, Intl Commission of Jurists) denounced Gudiel to GUA Bar Assoc for lack of ethics.)


(35,568 posts)
16. Why can't Montt speak during closing arguments?
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:58 PM
May 2013

Gudiel: All accused have right to declare whenever they want, in a free & spontaneous way. Today [#RIosMontt] felt like it, why limit him?

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 2m

As Francisco Garcia Gudiel scolds & insults court, sound of a baby crying can be heard in court. I believe one of Ixil witnesses' child.

- L-R: Pancho Paloma (atty), Ríos Montt (co defendant), Francisco Garcia Gudiel (atty).


(35,568 posts)
17. Redacted US diplomatic cables as evidence of genocide
Thu May 9, 2013, 12:59 PM
May 2013

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 2m

Redacted US diplomatic cables as evidence of genocide http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB425/docs/1-820407%20DIA%20Views%20of%20a%20Coup%20Leader.pdf (pdf) Protecting partners in crime? pic.twitter.com/bIrNzvM9ZQ


(35,568 posts)
18. closing arguments time is not for Montt to speak / Interruption
Thu May 9, 2013, 01:13 PM
May 2013

- Judge Barrios: Penal code establishes that all have right to express themselves. No one can be obligated to declare…

- Barrios: This is what the Public Prosector explains. We have called #RiosMontt to declare from the beginning. He abstained.

- Barrios: We are not opposed to (#RiosMontt's) declaration but there is specific legal code that guides us in the process.

- Judges now deliberating on Gudiel's recusal motion.

(a few minutes later)

- Barrios pauses deliberation, "Curiously, we've been asked for a report by another court, altho they know we're currently in a hearing"

- Barrios cont: We believe in judicial independence, as functionaries nominated to our posts by the Judicial System.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 1m

Jueza Barrios: Una sala exige al Tribunal un informe circunstanciado. Puede que tenga que interrumpir el debate para tramitarlo #RiosMontt

A chamber is requesting (requires) a detailed report. We may have to interrupt the proceedings to deal with this


(35,568 posts)
19. Barrios grants Montt time to speak. 30 years Guatemala has been waiting
Thu May 9, 2013, 01:18 PM
May 2013

- Barrios accepts Gudiels argument. #RiosMontt will be allowed to make a statement, even tho it isn't the procedural moment.

- Barrios is prohibiting the prosecution team from questioning Ríos Montt's statement.

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 1m

- Barrios grants #RiosMontt ability to speak. Thirty years #Guatemala has been waiting. #GenocideGT

- #RiosMontt seconds away from beginning to speak. Will he break the thirty-plus year silence?


(35,568 posts)
20. Montt wants to make statement with notes. Judge says no notes
Thu May 9, 2013, 01:21 PM
May 2013


- Gudiel requests #RiosMontt to make statement with notes, "He will speak to events spanning multiple years and he's a man of 85 yrs old"

- Barrios:" The declaration is free & spontaneous. No documents can be consulted." #RiosMontt will now address


(35,568 posts)
21. Rios Montt speaks: "I'm going to tell you the story"
Thu May 9, 2013, 01:29 PM
May 2013
Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 1m

Rios Montt: I'm going to tell you the story. #GenocidioGT #Guatemala

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 54s

- #RiosMontt cuenta su derrota en las elecciones en los años 70, y su salida del país
Rios Montt talks about his electoral defeat in the 70s and his departure from the country

- #RiosMontt narra como le entregaron el poder en 1982. "La situación estaba empantanada"
RiosMontt narrates how he handed over power in 1982. "The situation was complicated"

- Cuando llegué al poder, el ejército estaba cansado, el Estado quebrado, y la subversión a las puertas del Palacio
When I came to power, the army was tired, broken, and there was subversion at the gates of the Palace

- Los colegios profesionales nombraron a los Ministros de Estado
Professional associations appointed Ministers of State

#RiosMontt: I was head of state in 1982. The situation was complicated… The country was "tired of war"… We were going to work for democracy

Oh boy.... Democracy eh?


(35,568 posts)
22. Montt speaks: Rejects the findings of Amnesty International report during his administration
Thu May 9, 2013, 01:41 PM
May 2013
PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 1m

#RiosMontt: Reconocimos que la URNG y sus grupos le declararon la guerra al Estado de Guatemala.
We understood (recognized) that the URNG and its groups declared war on the State of Guatemala.


#RiosMontt directs his declaration to the press surrounding him. Barrios reminds him to face forward & speak only to #GenocideGT judges.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 3m

La declaración de Efrain #RiosMontt recuerda a sus prédicas dominicales de antaño.
Montt's statement is reminiscent of his Sunday sermons during the civil war.


- #RiosMontt: We had polarized political parties. Groups of FAR, ORPA, etc, declared war on GUA. Brothers against brother.

- #RiosMontt: We tried to create a legal framework that guaranteed us, a reference to protect us in the coup d'etat.

- #RIosMontt: I was the head of state and I had a cabinet. The cabinet functioned in a certain way, they informed me what could happen.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 12s

Ixiles, Cachiqueles, Quichés: todos formamos una nación grande: #RiosMontt
Ixiles, Cachiqueles, Quichés: all of them were a great nation

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 50s

Even Rios Montt is mentioned US Classified Reports (1982) It is so important to fully declassified documents to pursue justice.

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 49s

#RíosMontt “A mí me señalan de racista, cuando yo siempre he dicho que somos un país compuesto de muchas naciones”
They accused me of racism, but I have always said we're a country of so many nations

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 1m

Now Rios Montt attacking @amnesty Typical.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 2m

#RiosMontt habla de la campaña de moralización del Estado que se llevó a cabo durante su gobierno
Montt speaks of the state anti-corruption campaign that took place during his administration


#RiosMontt: The cabinet, they realized the purpose of the GUA state was to renovate- concept & vision.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 2m
#RiosMontt rechaza las conclusiones de un informe de Amnistía Internacional publicado durante su gobierno
Montt rejects the findings of an Amnesty International report published during his administration


(35,568 posts)
23. OMG. Montt: "The point was 4 these Kakchiqueles, Ixiles, Quiches, Mames, to create a state TOGETHER"
Thu May 9, 2013, 01:43 PM
May 2013
Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 3m

#RiosMontt shaking fist: The point was for these Kakchiqueles, Ixiles, Quiches, Mames, to create a state TOGETHER.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 4m

#Riosmontt: The biggest tragedy experienced in Guatemala was the fighting among people – brother against brother.


(35,568 posts)
24. Montt: I will never accept guilt for the charges. I was the head of state
Thu May 9, 2013, 01:47 PM
May 2013

#RiosMontt: I want to express that I will never accept guilt for the charges. I was the head of state.

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 4m

#RiosMontt: I can't accept under any circumstance the accusation by the MP...I don't accept that chain of command theory" #GenocideGT

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 3m

- #RiosMontt: El comandante en jefe del ejercito tiene autoridad nacional, pero no tiene un mando local
Montt:The commander in chief of the army has national authority, but no local control

- El jefe de Estado Mayor es el responsable de las operaciones
The chief of staff is responsible for operations

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 3m

#RiosMontt niega ser responsable de las operaciones militares durante su mandato.


(35,568 posts)
53. Even the Pope pleaded to Montt to stop his atrocities
Thu May 9, 2013, 05:37 PM
May 2013

Guatemala human rights plea by Pope
15th July 1983

(page 2 of 2)


THE POPE has made a further appeal to President Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala to end the death sentences which are being imposed by military tribunals, it was reported in Guatemala City last week.

The information came from Bishop Prospero Penados del Barrio of the diocese of San Marcos, but no further details of the message were made available.

The tribunals were set up a year ago and have been heavily criticised by the Guatemalan hierarchy as being responsible for violations of human rights. Fifteen people are said to have been executed, and the Pope added his own voice to the calls for an end to human rights violations when he visited Guatemala as part of' his Central America tour.

His remarks acquired an added significance at that time because six of those who have been executed were shot on the evening before the Pope's arrival in Guatemala, where he was greeted personally by General Rios Montt.

On that occasion a plea for clemency sent by the Pope in advance of his arrival was rejected by General Rios Montt, who likes to he regarded as an uncompromising disciplinarian.



(35,568 posts)
54. Interesting factoid. Montt's brother, Bishop Mario Rios Mont, investigated the deaths
Thu May 9, 2013, 05:46 PM
May 2013

Brothers at odds / Ex-dictator, Guatemalan bishop demonstrate how deeply 36 years of civil war divided nation
Megan Feldman, Chronicle Foreign Service
Published 4:00 am, Thursday, August 30, 2001


Mario, 67, is a Roman Catholic bishop who directs the church's human rights office, created to investigate the deaths of the war's 200,000 victims, most of whom died at the hands of the military. In June, a judge ordered investigations into the possibility of criminal charges against Efrain Rios Montt for the deaths of 1,362 highland Maya Indians suspected of supporting the rebels.


While attorneys prepared the genocide case against Rios Montt, public prosecutors worked with his brother to bring to justice the killers of Mario Rios Mont's predecessor, Bishop Juan Gerardi.


But in the 1970s, religion became a dividing line after the introduction of the doctrine of liberation theology. Mario found inspiration in this interpretation of the Gospel, which urges priests, nuns and lay people to work to improve the lot of the poor.

The schism between the church and successive military regimes widened after the church, in a pastoral letter, denounced the Guatemalan government in 1976 for repression and doing little to reduce poverty. Some priests even openly supported the rebels.

By that time, Rios Montt had become a general and his brother a priest. Religion became intertwined with the civil war, with Catholics being more identified as guerrilla supporters and evangelical Protestants seen to be more in line with the military. Rios Montt embraced Protestantism and is now a minister of the faith.




(35,568 posts)
25. Montt: it's the fault of the army and its sergeants (OMG, the lies, the lies here)
Thu May 9, 2013, 01:57 PM
May 2013
Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 4m

#RiosMontt: "I am not responsible only the head of the army and the sergeants that were in charge of those areas"

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 5m
Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 5m

#RiosMontt: "A head of state cannot be responsible when he has an entire country to run like I did" #GenocideGT


#RiosMont: The head of state has all ministers below him. The minister of defense [Mejia Victores] was responsible for the dispatch.

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 3m

"I had too much work" - Ríos Montt (No doubt, lots of indigenous peoples to kill, displace, indoctrinate) #genocidegt

No honor left among thieves I tell ya

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 4m

#RiosMontt de 1944 a 2013: todos los procesos que han ayudado al progreso del país han sido guiados por el ejército
Montt:From 1944 to 2013: All important developments in Guatemala were carried out by the military.


#RiosMontt: Once the state established a degree of stability, the military ejected me from their own interests. It is important the people know this

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 3m

#RiosMontt: lamenta que Guatemala firme tantos convenios internacionales.
Montt: It's regrettable that Guatemala signed so many international agreements

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 4m

- #RiosMontt La subversión no es cuestión de tiros. Es cuestión de hambre y pobreza.
Montt Subversion is not about weapons (shots). It's about hunger and poverty.

- #RiosMontt Para combatir la subversión hay que combatir la pobreza. Para esto hay que pagar sus impuestos, y acá nadie quiere pagarlos
To fight subversion you must fight poverty. For this you have to pay your taxes, and here nobody wants to pay

- NISGUA ?@NISGUA_Guate 4m

#RiosMontt yelling: We had a concept of "Guatemalidad"... not to take away the Maya identity but to consolidate them with us!

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 5m

#RiosMontt: (yelling) "I was not a commander, I was not a sergeant, I was a head of state" #GenocideGT


(35,568 posts)
26. Montt: "I met with Reagan in SanPedroSula and we didn't ask for weapons, we couldn't even get loans"
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:01 PM
May 2013
PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 6m

#RiosMontt: Me reuní con Reagan. No le pedimos armas ni ayuda. EEUU no nos daba ninguna clase de ayuda
Montt: I met with Reagan. Didn't ask for any weapons or for help. The U.S. wouldn't give us any kind of help

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 6m

Now Rios Montt mentioning Ronald Reagan. And saying that they did not ask for weapons. That US did not provide any military aid. Ha!


#RiosMontt: I had the opportunity to attend an activity with Mr. #Reagan... We didn't have intl help, the US didn't give us assistance.

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 7m

#RiosMontt: "I met with Reagan in SanPedroSula and we didn't ask for weapons, we couldn't even get loans and we were broke" #GenocideGT

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 7m

Lies, damn lies. And all the truth buried in a pile of redacted documents, secret and top secret files or missing documents.

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 6m

#RiosMontt: "Remember your honor I am a grandfather and a great-grandfather" #GenocideGT

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 6m

Rios Montt saying that US had informants infiltrated in the guerrillas, payed with US money so they had access to intel.


(35,568 posts)
27. Montt: "I never ordered acts against an ethnicity or religion. Never!.. I was not a zone commander!"
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:07 PM
May 2013

#RiosMontt: I never proposed, I never ordered acts against an ethnicity or religion. I never did it. #GenocideGT

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 8m

#RiosMontt: "I never signed, I never approved, I never ordered for any act to be committed against an ethnic group" #GenocideGT


#RiosMontt: Everything that's been said (in the Genocide trial), there's no evidence of my participation.

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 8m

#RiosMontt: "I know this trial is important for #Guatemala. This country deserves respect and those those responsible should be known"


#RiosMontt: I presented myself to the Public Prosecutor's office b/c I didn't want to be called a "genocido" I never was one.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 7m

#RiosMontt: Plan Firmeza 82: ningún renglón que diga que hay que ir a destruir a una etnia.
In Victoria 82 Plan: there's no line that says you have to go destroy an ethnic group.
Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 7m

#Riosmontt: A head of state defends his commanders, but each of these is responsible for his own territory. #GenocidioGT #Guatemala

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 7m

#Riosmontt: I was not a zone commander! I was head of state! #GenocidioGT #Guatemala


(35,568 posts)
28. Montt: I looked at Plan Victoria 82, there's nothing written abt objective to destroy a people
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:12 PM
May 2013

#RiosMontt: I looked at Plan Victoria 82, there's nothing written abt objective, purpose or order to destroy a people, ethnicity or religion

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 6m

#RiosMontt: "I felt bad when I heard the conclusions given by the MP (prosecutor)" #GenocideGT

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 6m

Tenemos que hacer que las leyes se respeten dice Ríos Montt. #sihubogenocidio y la Convención de la ONU sobre ese delito es ley vigente.
We have to respect the laws says Rios Montt. # sihubogenocidio and the UN Convention on the crime is law.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 7m

#RiosMontt la cadena de mando tiene limites y autonomías.
Montt: the chain of command has limits and autonomy.


(35,568 posts)
29. Montt: Current Minister of Interior killed, kidnapped, won't be prosecuted & I am responsible?
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:18 PM
May 2013

#RiosMontt: My military relationship was limited & my work was political. I wasn't a commander of troops.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 8m

#RiosMontt: si agarran a policías robando, no van a enjuiciar al Ministro de Gobernación.
If you catch the police stealing, you don't sue the Minister of Interior.


#RiosMontt: The chain of command has limits & autonomy. There is a REGIONALIZATION that obligates the local commander to comply with the law

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 7m

#RiosMontt "Ppl like (current) @mlopezbonilla killed and kidnapped and he won' be prosecuted and now I am responsible?"

Mauricio López Bonilla - Current Minister of the Interior, Guatemala


(35,568 posts)
30. Montt: The Workers Party went to kill & spill blood. Now I'm the one with the charges?
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:23 PM
May 2013

#RiosMontt: Those men of the PGT (GUA Workers Party) went to kill & spill blood. Now I'm the one with the charges.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 11m

- #RiosMontt No hay cadena de mando, hay jerarquía. El responsable del área Ixil es el comandante de Quiché, o de la fuerza de tarea Gumarcaj
There was no chain of command, no hierarchy. The head of the Ixil was the commander of Quiche, or Task Force Gumarcaj

- #RiosMontt: me declaro inocente. Nunca he tenido la intención de destruir a ninguna etnia nacional.
I plead innocent. I've never had the intention of destroying any national ethnicity.

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 11m

#RiosMontt: "Your honor,I declare myself innocent. I never had intention or purpose of destroying any ethnic group" #GenocideGT


- #RiosMontt insists local commanders are responsible for what happened in Ixil. For ex, head of Gurmacaaj forces.

- A small group of #RiosMontt supporters applaud him upon conclusion of his statement. Barrios hushes the crowd.


(35,568 posts)
31. Defense is called to give closing arguments. Requests lunch break instead. Food is a human right now
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:26 PM
May 2013

- Defense is called to give closing arguments. Gudiel requests lunch break, "I didnt have breakfast."

- Gudiel states that defense team is requested in another hearing. Barrios reiterates defense needs to present closing argument #GenocideGT arguments.

- Calderon protests. Judge Barriors states that the defendants have multiple lawyers available to go to the 2PM hearing.

- Palomo: The problem is not the lawyers but the accused are also convened. Barrios responds: Lawyers can go & explain their absence.

- Gudiel insists: I'm not scared to give my statements... I've come completely prepared.

- Gudiel continues: There's no reason I should sit here w/ gastritis... This is a human right, the right to food!

Really? I mean really?!


(35,568 posts)
32. Montt lawyer: Against my will, I will give my statements in a state of hunger.
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:29 PM
May 2013

Gudiel: Against my will, I will give my statements in a state of hunger... I at least ask permission to drink water since I can't eat...

Romina Ruiz-Goiriena ?@romireports 7m

Ahora Panco Palomo sabe lo que pasa el 47% de #Guatemala que trabaja SIN COMER. #hambrecero @GenocideGT
Now Panco Palomo knows how the 47% of Guatemalas who work WITHOUT FOOD feel

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 7m

The crosstalk between judge Barrios & Gudiel now—as if for some black Shakespearean comedy. Who will play Rios Montt in the film...


- Gudiel: I was only allowed to participate for 3 hours in this trial because of an illegal & arbitrary decision of the tribunal.


(35,568 posts)
33. BREAKING NEWS: President Perez Molina announces he will withdraw the declared state of siege....
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:31 PM
May 2013

MT @lahoragt BREAKING NEWS: President Perez Molina announces he will withdraw the declared state of siege in 4 municipalities.


(35,568 posts)
34. Prosecution Closing Argument (Livestream link)
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:41 PM
May 2013

Gudiel: I was only allowed to participate for 3 hours in this trial because of an illegal & arbitrary decision of the tribunal.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 8m

"Este proceso desde que nació, nació muerto", García Gudiel
This trial was stillborn from its birth - Garcia Gudiel

- "He escuchado participaciones. Una presentaciòn digna de un guiòn de Hollywood, pero no dignos de una plataforma fáctica", Garcìa
We've heard witnesses (participants). It was a presentation worthy of a Hollywood award, but not worthy of a factual platform

- "La prueba presentada por el MP y los querellantes lo único que quedó plenamente probado que jamás ordenó, planificó, ejecutó...
"Of all the evidence presented by the Prosecution, all that remains standing is that nothing was ordered, planned, executed ...

- García Gudiel nombra testigos que afirmaron desconocer a #riosmontt
Garcia Gudiel names witnesses who claimed Montt knew nothing


Gudiel: Trial has only proven #RiosMontt never ordered, planned, organized, executed or supervised acts w/ intention to eliminate Maya Ixil

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 9m

Livestream http://www.plazapublica.com.gt/content/juicio-por-genocidio-0

Livestream not working for me, maybe because I'm in Guate?


(35,568 posts)
35. Rios Montt never planned, never organized, never executed, and never supervised any act ...
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:46 PM
May 2013
Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 10m

Gudiel: #Riosmontt never planned, never organized, never executed, and never supervised any act with the intention of destroying the Ixil


Gudiel: The witnesses know my client b/c of the news or b/c he was President but they never said they knew him personally.


Gudiel mentions protected #GenocideGT witness Ramiro Leonardo Reyes. See here

The much anticipated testimony of former Kaibil and soldier with the first company of the Army Corps of Engineers, Hugo Ramiro Leonardo Reyes, concluded the protected witness testimonies for the day. Reyes caused a stir in the Guatemalan press after linking current President Otto Pérez Molina, then serving as Major in the Ixil region and known as Tito Arias, to massacres in Nebaj. The President's General Secretary swiftly responded at the day's end, saying that the mention of Pérez Molina was unfounded and blamed the Public Prosecutor for allowing the testimony to reference a 3rd party who has not been named in the case. Leonardo Reyes detailed the activities of kidnapping, torture, extrajudicial execution and rape, with particular emphasis on the mass graves of El Pino (The Pine Tree) and El Roble (The Oak Tree); see our excerpt below.

In those days, we were in the installation of the Army Corps of Engineers, all the officers participated in the executions that took place in El Pino. In El Pino there was no room left to bury people so they went to a place called El Roble to bury the rest of the victims.

The military and the soldiers were under orders from Major Tito Arias, known as Otto Pérez Molina; the general, José Luis Quilo Ayuso and…the commanders of the engineer company coordinated the burning and looting of the people to execute them later...

The trucks transferred the people, took them down from the truck and one by one they went past the officers. They didn’t use weapons to execute them. Many times they were killed by bayonets, to the neck or chest. They went to the extreme that the people stabbed in the chest by bayonet, they pushed them into the hole dug out by the heavy machinery. Then they put back the earth that had been dug out, the machine put the earth over the victims…The trucks sometimes pushed the children still alive in the rebozos of the mothers into the hole.

Can you indicate the clothing worn by these executed victims?

The victims taken to camp were innocent people. People dressed in traditional cloth, white shirts, women with their traditional clothing, barefoot. The men tied by the feet and hands. If they unbound their feet it was only to take them off the trucks. When the young women were taken, they were raped, not necessarily right there. The installations of the engineers, they were provisional but as time passed they began building better buildings and that’s where they raped the young women…

Do you remember whether elderly also died?

Yes sir, there was no forgiveness for the elderly, not for the women and not for the children…

One elderly women whose hair was long, it went down to her waist, she was killed in El Pino. They cut her head off and took it to the officers’ cafeteria. …All the officers cut this elderly women’s head off and brought it to the table. They left her head on the table so all the women who worked in the kitchen preparing food [would see], to provoke a reaction from them, or to scare them, or as a joke.

…There was a pot of coffee so that those of us in service, we could drop by to drink coffee. ...I didn’t have the nerve to drink coffee there because of the head on that table. It is something I cannot forget.



(35,568 posts)
36. Defense claims too much hearsay and science not reliable. Expert degrees not valid in Guate
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:52 PM
May 2013

- Gudiel: Reyes never mentioned #RiosMontt as responsible for the acts. You can't condemn someone just because they are general.

- Gudiel: There are serious problems with the scientific foundation of the [forensic antrhopology] reports.

- Gudiel criticizes #GenocideGT forensic reports because testimonial evidence relies on the memory of the witness, it's not scientific.

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 8m

- Gudiel now arguing against believability of forensic evidence presented by FAFG against Ríos Montt; believing science itself not credible.

- As noted in our @newshour piece, science is very much at center of this trial; defense now arguing science not credible evidence in case.


- Gudiel: FAFG couldn't determine death of many. Here experts testified it was impossible to prove cause of death.

- Gudiel attacks forensic experts: Many hadn't even done their thesis. FAFG w/their pretty name…Dir. doesnt even have credential from Guatemala

- #GarcíaGudiel states expert Héctor Rosada is not a military specialist, he is a sociologist.

- #GarciaGudiel: It occurred to him to write a book saying, There was genocide, then he is called as an expert witness.

- #GarciaGudiel He (Hector Rosada) is a sociologist who lives off the donations of foreigners.

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 2m

Rios Montt defense attorney attacked credibility of forensic anthropologist peritos from FAFG; their degrees invalid in Guate, he claims.


#GarcíaGudiel moves from critiquing validity of experts to prosecution's analysis of Natl Devt Plan in #GenocideGT closing arguments


(35,568 posts)
37. Defense: "Human rights violations? No one has established there were any."
Thu May 9, 2013, 02:58 PM
May 2013

- #GarcíaGudiel: Human rights violations? No one has established there were any.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial now

Gudiel: The head of state never never never had the control of operations!

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 3m

"El jefe de Estado nunca, nunca, tiene mando operativo. Mi cliente fue explícito en decir las funciones del jefe de estado"
"The head of state never, never, has operational command. My client was explicit in describing the functions of a head of state"


- #GarcíaGudiel This supposed expert (Robles) wasn't capable of telling courtrm how the high command knew of these supposed violations.

- #García Autonomy exists, every commander was autonomous. The person responsible for the Ixil region was the Commander in Quiché!

- According to #GarcíaGudiel, those responsable are the commander of Quiché (Lima Estrada) and Gumarkaj (Mata Galvez)


(35,568 posts)
38. Defense refers to "non-existant intl jurisprudence"
Thu May 9, 2013, 03:02 PM
May 2013


- #GarcíaGudiel refers to "non-existant intl jurisprudence" #GenocideGT closing arguments.

- #GarcíaGudiel critiques #GenocideGT expert witnesses one-by-one: Peccerelli, Sorias, Gomez, Oglesby so far.


(35,568 posts)
40. Pics of Montt protesting his innocence taken a few minutes ago
Thu May 9, 2013, 03:18 PM
May 2013

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 7m

- José Efraín Ríos Montt: video still (shot on iPhone during his statement to court just now). Guatemala City. 1/6

- Most striking I observed, sitting at Ríos Montt’s feet during his statement: he is sharp, forceful, righteously angry, still in charge.


(35,568 posts)
41. A large group of survivors from Ixil & other regions leaves, another group takes their place
Thu May 9, 2013, 03:21 PM
May 2013


A large group of survivors from Ixil & other regions left the courtrm, w/another group of survivors promptly taking their place


(35,568 posts)
42. Defense says Plan Sofia/Victoria evidence was instead plan for natl devt and well-being.
Thu May 9, 2013, 03:23 PM
May 2013

#GarciaGudiel critiques Plan Sofia/Victoria evidence; they were plan for natl devt and well-being.


(35,568 posts)
43. Defense: If the guerillas had won, we'd be like Venezuela, like Chavez. Hippies, little chinaman
Thu May 9, 2013, 03:30 PM
May 2013
PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 15m

"Gracias a Dios no llegó la guerrilla al palacio. Cómo estaríamos ahora? Como Chávez", Garcìa Gudiel
"Thank God the guerrillas didn't get into the palace. How would we be now? Like Chávez," Garcìa Gudiel


#García: Today we see many from the UN. To be honest, I don't know what they're doing here. They should be somewhere else, not in GUA

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 14m

"Qué hace ONU aquí. Qué hacen los extranjeros aquí. Los problemas de Gt los arreglamos los guatemaltecos, no ningún hippie", #GarcíaGudiel
"What is the UN doing here? What are the foreigners doing here? Guatemala problems need Guatemalans to fix them, not some hippies"
PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 15m

Jueza pide que se reconduzca su conclusión. GG"Ese chinito que no conoce dónde está Guatemala", en relación a Ban Ki Moon
Judge calls on defense to wrap it up. Defense continues "That little Chinaman who doesn't even know where Guatemala is", referring to Ban Ki Moon"

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 15m

OMG Rios Montt Defense is 100% full of prejudice. Called @UN SG ¨chinito¨, @UN workers ¨slacks¨ and those attending @RiosMonttTrial hippies

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 15m

Abogado defensor de Ríos Montt ¨Ese ¨chinito¨ que dirige Naciones Unidas no sabe ni dónde queda Guatemala¨
That little Chinaman in charge of the UN doesn't even know where Guatemala is.


(35,568 posts)
44. Montt defense lawyer proposing to criminalize leaks. Denying validity ....
Thu May 9, 2013, 03:39 PM
May 2013
Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 14m

Now Rios Montt defense lawyer proposing to criminalize leaks. Denying validity of this document: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB297/Operation_Sofia_lo.pdf … (pdf) (Plan Sofía)


#García states Plan Sofía illegitimately certified, legalized by "someone in the gallery," referring to Kate Doyle. #GenocideGT trial


Barrios stops #GarcíaGudiel after he indirectly refers to Kate Doyle in audience. Asks he not make references of personal nature.


#García states many #GenocideGT expert testimonies are contradictory, take military docs out of context. "Also, REMHI authors are biased."


(35,568 posts)
45. "Harris Whitbeck showed how the state protected the population in refugee camps."
Thu May 9, 2013, 03:47 PM
May 2013

#GarcíaGudiel: Gustavo Porras denied having knowledge of a state plan to eliminate the Maya Ixil.

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 2m

Harris Whitbeck demostró cómo el Estado protegía a la población, en campos de refugiados. Dice en sus conclusiones defensa #juicioriosmontt
Harris Whitbeck showed how the state protected the population in refugee camps. The Defense says in its closing argument # juicioriosmontt

Who the hell is this Harris Whitbeck Sr? Wiki states that former advisor to Rioss Montt, during the genocide, is "an upper-class Guatemalan businessman". If he's Guatemalan, I'm the Queen of England. That's either an American or a Canadian. He's even less Guatemalan than Goni was Bolivian. Gonna have to look into this guy.


(35,568 posts)
46. Defense: "It has been established that there was no genocide...
Thu May 9, 2013, 04:03 PM
May 2013
PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 6m

"Ha quedado probado que no hubo genocidio. No se demostró la relación de #RiosMontt con los hechos", #garciagudiel
"It has been established that there was no genocide. No relationship was proved between Rios Montt and those events"


- #GarcíaGudiel: According to the criteria of genocide, it is clear there was no #genocide in 1982-1983.

- #García: No form of evidence, document, testimony, etc prove that #RiosMontt ordered or planned the death of the Maya Ixil.

- #Garcia lists litany of acts outlined by prosecution, stating no proof #RiosMontt ordered: bombs, rapes, torture, burning, killing, theft

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 6m

- Un soldado no va a informar a sus superiores, sobre violaciones y asesinatos a niños, dice García
A soldier is not going to inform his superiors, of rape and the murder of children, says Garcia

- García Gudiel asegura que la guerrilla utilizaba a niños y mujeres. "No se extrañen si... mandaban a los niños como punta de lanza", García

- Did you mean: García Gudiel asegura que la guerrilla utiliza a niños y mujeres. "No se extrañen si... mandaban a los niños como punta de lanza",
Gudiel Garcia says the guerrillas used children and women. "It wouldn't be surprising if ... they sent children like a spearhead"


(35,568 posts)
47. Defense: "no genocide. It was armed conflict and unfortunate deaths."
Thu May 9, 2013, 04:08 PM
May 2013
Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 1m

#RiosMontt defense lawyer: En Guatemala no hubo genocidio. Lo que hubo fue un conflicto armado, con muertos lamentables.
In Guatemala there was no genocide. What happened was an armed conflict and unfortunate deaths.


#GarcíaGudiel: There were people resisting the military's attacks & for that reason, there was subversion.


- #GarcíaGudiel: In GUA there was never #genocide…There was an armed conflict... w/severe & lamentable collateral damange

- #GarcíaGudiel: The Ixiles were never pursued by the military, there was never a plan to exterminate them.

- #GarcíaGudiel maintains that in GUA there was never discrimination based on religion or race and therefore no Genocide


(35,568 posts)
48. Defense is going on and on that Guate never signed intl agreements and
Thu May 9, 2013, 04:26 PM
May 2013

and Rome State wasn't even in existence then and it can't be retroactive

and this one is a real beauty

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 45s

"En los Acuerdos de Paz no está el término genocidio.", García
"In the Peace Accords, the term genocide doesn't appear"

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 1m

MP interrumpe para decir que la defensa ya utilizó las dos horas para sus conclusiones. La jueza le concede más tiempo.

The Prosecution interrupts to say the Defense has been concluding for over 2 hours now. The judge grants the Defense more time

Now the defense is back to "no genocide" .



- As #GarcíaGudiel continues conclusions in #GenocideGT trial, Tahoe Resources investors gather in Toronoto for their Annual General Meeting.

- NISGUA with @MiningWatch releases investor alert calling #Escobal project a dangerous investment

Judi Lynn

(159,774 posts)
49. Unbelievable events. How can Rios-Montt sit there without being hit by lightning?
Thu May 9, 2013, 04:34 PM
May 2013

You have gathered so much we wouldn't know otherwise.

Returning later this evening to continue reading this material you've provided for our education.

We just wouldn't have known without this gift. Thank you, so much,


(35,568 posts)
64. I don't know. He has a lot of gall. All of those involved do
Thu May 9, 2013, 07:48 PM
May 2013

They don't understand why everyone is making such a fuss over a few dirty "chocolates".


(35,568 posts)
50. Defense points to one British Lord, Viscount Colville de Culross as *proof*
Thu May 9, 2013, 04:45 PM
May 2013

- #GarciaGudiel: #HR rapporteur, Colville de Culross, says armed activities in GUA were normal, there was virulent conflict.

- "it was as if Lord Colville really hadn't visited Guatemala. He seems to have been only a Government stooge":


''Human Rights'' - a production of Thames Television in Britain -stakes out its position early on. It shows us Guatemala. Soldiers in black shirts goose step to kettle drums. A moment later, a priest describes a massacre in an Indian village. A soldier plunged a knife into a 3-year-old boy, and then picked the child up by his ankles and crushed his head against a wall. The priest, who did not see the massacre but was told about it, says that the Guatemalan Army murdered 15,000 to 16,000 Indians from 1982 to 1984.

Go then to Viscount Colville of Culross, a United Nations investigator, examining reports of human rights abuses in Guatemala. In one village, farmers tell him that a band of guerrillas was ''handed over'' to the army or perhaps ''surrendered'' - it is unclear which - and that either eight or 18 were then killed.

Returning to New York, Lord Colville is interviewed on a plane. He says he has found ''some very positive sides'' to the Guatemalan Government, and that conditions seem to be improving. He says he will file a ''balanced'' report.

''Many people would be surprised you can find anything positive in a country run by a junta,'' the unseen reporter-narrator says. He almost sounds amused. Then we see the priest again. He says it was as if Lord Colville really hadn't visited Guatemala. He seems to have been only a Government stooge. The sequence concludes with film of grieving women, although it's uncertain whom they're grieving for.



(35,568 posts)
51. Finally lunch break (It's 3:45 PM in Guatemala)
Thu May 9, 2013, 04:47 PM
May 2013

- #GarcíaGudiel concludes: I maintain the Public Prosecutor was incapable of proving neither the crime of genocide nor crimes against humanity

- Upon #GarcíaGudiel's close, Judge Barrios declares a one hour recess so #GenocideGT participants can have a late lunch.


(35,568 posts)
52. “Faces of Impunity” enemies list published online
Thu May 9, 2013, 05:16 PM
May 2013

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 39m

- "Faces of Impunity" enemies list published online a pro-Rios-Montt group yesterday was talk of courtroom today. Many here on the hit list.

- 2 women on "Faces of Impunity" enemies list spoke to one another just now. “Sorry to see you were on hit list too,” one says to the other.

“But hey, you looked great!”
“Yeah, you too.”
“All that matters. If I die, I’ll be remembered as looking fantastic.”

Hit list humor.

- Group believes genocide trial is “A Plot to Anhilate the Nation.” Enemies listed include @usembassyguate, & Norway, Switzerland, Holland.

- A friend of Doña Juana, a woman who was gang-raped at an Army base in Tzlbal at age 12, just came up and began telling me her story.

- She showed me scars on her leg. “They say I’m lying,” she says, gesturing at defense. “They’re yelling because they’re lying. It’s truth.”


(35,568 posts)
55. Victim of Rios Montt watching herself on PBS newshour, inside court
Thu May 9, 2013, 05:49 PM
May 2013

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 13m

Doña Juana Sanchez Toma, watching herself on @newshour, inside genocide trial court.

“Es el Día de las Madres,” dijo Juana Sanchez Toma. “Y yal vez de la Justicia.”
"It's Mother's Day," said Juana Sanchez Toma. "And also Justice Day."


(35,568 posts)
56. Court reconvenes. Defense closing arguments to continue. PowerPoints of Impunity
Thu May 9, 2013, 05:56 PM
May 2013

OMG, I thought they were done. How many ways can they say "There was no genocide and we're not responsible for any collateral damages of our little civil war?"


- Judge Barrios reconvenes the #GenocideGT trial announcing conclusions will continue with #RodriguezSanchez's lawyer Cesar Calderon.

- Barrios announces Public Defender Otto Ramírez filed denouncement stating his free movement was limited because he wasn't relieved of his obligation

- #CésarCalderón begins: During the next several minutes, I'm going to conclude the part that corresponds to #RodríguezSánchez

- #CésarCalderón yells what he refers to as questions of historic character: There was no war, there were internal disturbances/irregular war

- #CésarCalderón: There's a divorce between the accusation & declaration of more than 100 prosecution witnesses and some of the experts.

- #CésarCalderón comments on grammar: "Army" is a collective noun. It's an institution, not a person. Each witness was asked about the army.

- #CésarCalderón: Today if we go to the military, to Ministry of Defense, Interior Min., we will no doubt find plans similar to Victoria 82.

- #CésarCalderón making generalizations of #GenocideGT trial: We have heard a half, mutilated and selected truth.

- #CésarCalderón: 100 Ixiles came here to deny there was a guerrilla. There was guerrilla.

- #CésarCalderón: One of Ixiles who testified might have been campesino by day but not by night. By night, they might have killed soldiers.

- #CésarCalderón: When the military was able to win over the population, they won the war. This was a govt of development & integration.

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 3s

I believe this phase of the trial is what’s known as “PowerPoints of Impunity.”


(35,568 posts)
57. Defense: "Truth was changed in order to find reconciliation." Screaming
Thu May 9, 2013, 06:01 PM
May 2013

- #CésarCalderón: Truth was changed in order to find reconciliation. This truth confronts us. Today we are still a divided country.

- #CésarCalderón shows #GenocideGT courtroom a flow chart & claims G-2 (Military Intelligence) does not appear in line of command.

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 3s

Screaming level in courtroom, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being using your normal inside-a-courtroom voice, is like 9 right now.


#CésarCalderón critiques General Rodolfo Robles's expert testimony in #GenocideGT trial.


(35,568 posts)
58. Defense: "The chain of command does not include the chief of military intelligence."
Thu May 9, 2013, 06:26 PM
May 2013

CésarCalderón alleging #JMRodríguez isn't part of chain of command, focusing on military expert testimonies.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 3m

Calderon: The chain of command does not include the chief of military intelligence.


#CésarCalderón: Criminal responsibility is personal & indiv. Crime is an action, not authorship. Each person must answer for what they do.


(35,568 posts)
59. Two victims in court
Thu May 9, 2013, 06:29 PM
May 2013
Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 19m

Elena De Paz Santiago, Ixil woman who testified of being repeatedly gang-raped, beaten by soldiers at…

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 19m

L: Elena De Paz Santiago, Ixil woman who testified of being raped, beaten by soldiers at Tzalbal army…


(35,568 posts)
60. The defense screams on. Even PowerPoint has lots of ALL CAPS
Thu May 9, 2013, 06:33 PM
May 2013

- #CésarCalderón: #JMRodríguez didn't author any plan, he didn't command nor execute any of the crimes of which he's accused.

- #CésarCalderón: This is a poem, a poem in poor taste, an invention, using the law & twisting it… so that my client rots in a hospital.

- #CésarCalderón's voice verges on cracking as he yells his closing statements to a full

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 18m

Noted: PowerPoint that Rios Montt defense atty is presenting as closing argument, while he shouts, is written WITH A LOT OF ALL-CAPS.


- #CésarCalderón insists: I already explained #JMRodríguez didn't have position or command.

- #CésarCalderón closes: I want my client, #JMRodríguez to have the freedom to go to the beach, to go out.


(35,568 posts)
61. AJR: "we indigenous were accused of being terrorists, communists, subversives & genocide committed'
Thu May 9, 2013, 06:44 PM
May 2013
Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 17m

The representative from AJR Benjamin Geronimo asked to give a final statement. #Riosmontt #GenocidioGT #Guatemala


In #GenocideGT courtroom, Association of Justice and Reconcilation President Benjamin Jerónimo is given opportunity to speak.


- #BenjaminJerónimo: Good afternoon honorable court, thank you for the space to be able to speak.

- I want to say that I'm also a survivor of massacre of 256 members of my community in the time of #RíosMontt

-The state has an obligation to protect life, security, and peace - but the army did the opposite.

- In that time, 1982, we indigenous were accused of being terrorists, communists, subversives and #genocide was committed.

- I ask you for justice for everything that we suffered. I saw it all with my own eyes.

- Our lawyers are threatened of being terrorist, but a terrorist never comes to ask for justice as we have in this tribunal

- I beg you to do justice for the victims, so survivors feel peace, that they can have new trust in the authorities.

- We are not animals, dogs, or any other kind of animal. We are human beings & we have rights to life, protection, peace, & security

- So much has been discussed for the truth. And again they accuses us of being subversives and communists"

- I beg of you, once again, to do justice and conform to right to justice in GUA, international treaties & conventions.

- We aren't looking for vengence, we look for real peace w/justice, respect, equality & dignity, that's why we're here.

- Geronimo: Now is the time to no longer to have the army in our communities, continuing to threaten the Ixil and Maya population.

- "This is why the peace accords were signed - to respect our rights." Geronimo ends statement to a roar of applause from audience.

- #BenjaminJerónimo concludes: It's easier for a camel to pass thru eye of a needle than for a rich genocidal person to enter the kingdom of God. .


#BenjaminJerónimo told us in an exclusive interview as #GenocideGT trial began, "It is our right to demand justice"

Exclusive Interview with the AJR: "It is our right to demand justice and reveal the truth"

Before the start of the genocide trial in Guatemala, the international human rights accompaniment project ACOGUATE met with Benjamin Jerónimo, president and legal representative of the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) to hear his opinion on the advancement of the case. The AJR is a plaintiff in the trial that opened on March 19 against Efraín Ríos Montt and José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez. This exclusive interview was originally published in Spanish on ACOGUATE's blog. Translation by NISGUA.

Benjamin Jerónimo, President of the AJR Photo: Kevin Hayes

What will it mean for Guatemala if this case is won?

It will mean that there is justice for all, no matter the rank or economic status of the person. This has never before been achieved in Guatemala. It would set a precedent for our community and for other countries that are also in the process of seeking justice. Moreover, it would set a precedent for the youth, for those who are with us today and those who are to come, so that they know the truth. They have to know what a dirty war is, a war in which people were taken advantage of, who had no way of defending themselves, and were not guilty of what they were being accused.

What are your long-term vision and hope for this case and the fight against impunity?

We hope for a firm sentence. Maybe it won't be from one day to the next, but there is hope that the new generations will have a better future as a result of this process. We want the rights of the indigenous peoples and communities, those who were most discriminated against during the war, to be respected. We demand that the State treat all people as equals, regardless of their history or origin. We also hope that with this sentence, the impunity in this country will be reduced, both for the crimes committed during the armed conflict and for the crimes of today. What the Association hopes for is a definitive change in favor of equality.



#BenjaminJerónimo leaves #GenocideGT stand accompanied by booming applause and chants of "Justice! Justice!"

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 12m

Someone from the Ixil Region said: "We have the first chance to judge a genocide, after 500 years" #genocidegt

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 12m

Note: Asociacion de Justicia y Reconciliacion (AJR)’s Benjamin Jerónimo is basically the individual plaintiff in this case.


(35,568 posts)
62. Human Rights Legal Action Center gives concluding statement
Thu May 9, 2013, 06:46 PM
May 2013
Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 13m

Francisco Soto, representative of the Human Rights Legal Action Center gives concluding statement. #Riosmontt #GenocidioGT

PlazaPública en Vivo ?@PzPenVivo 13m

Soto Forno: "Hoy tenemos la oportunidad de juzgar genocidio en nuestro país luego de más de 500 años". #juiciogenocidio.
Soto Forno: "Today we have the opportunity to judge genocide in our country after more than 500 years."

- CALDH director Francisco Soto makes brief statement: We ask the tribunal to condemn crimes of genocide & crimes against humanity.

- Francisco Soto: This is an important moment of historic memory for our country. If we forget, we are condemned to repeat.


(35,568 posts)
63. Ríos Montt speaks again: "I only ask for justice"
Thu May 9, 2013, 06:50 PM
May 2013
Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 15m

Ríos Montt is called again to the stand by Judge Barrios.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 14m

#Riosmontt returns to the stand for second time today to give his closing remarks. #Guatemala #GenocidioGT

Renata Avila ?@avilarenata 14m

Rios Montt more polite and respectful than his lawyers.


#RíosMontt gives his final closing statement: I only ask for justice from the tribunal.

Rios Montt Trial ?@RiosMonttTrial 12m

Barrios suspends the debate until tomorrow morning at 8 AM, with only a final statement from Rodriguez Sanchez remaining. #GenocidioGT


(35,568 posts)
67. Street Art: Yes, there was genocide
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:38 PM
May 2013


Guatemala: a few blocks away from court, a message on back of a camioneta. Street art campaign. “SI HUBO GENOCIDIO”

(Yes, there was genocide)


(35,568 posts)
68. If a guilty verdict, some supporters of Montt have warned of "civil war."
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:38 PM
May 2013

Xeni Jardin ?@xeni 34m

If a guilty verdict, some supporters of Montt have warned of "civil war." The environment is volatile. Credible threats abound. Con cuidado.


(35,568 posts)
69. Video to remind what is at stake: 'They threw me around like a ball'
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:50 PM
May 2013
Ep 10 an attempt to Decimate the Future
Published on May 6, 2013

In an incredible display of courage, a Maya Ixil woman testifies to sexual violence, an act of genocide. In the Audience, women cover their heads in solidarity.


(35,568 posts)
70. Video History Lesson - Guatemala - An American Genocide
Thu May 9, 2013, 11:58 PM
May 2013

Guatemala - An American Genocide

Guatemala - An American Genocide

Broadcast: 10/8/1999

Reporter: Jonathan Holmes


"I said to my wife, we must get out, because the soldiers didn't see us as human beings but as animals."
Andres, Mayan peasant from the highlands.

The United Nations Guatemalan Clarification Commission estimates that a hundred thousand Mayan villages were massacred by the Guatemalan army during the seventies and eighties, in a campaign aided and financed by the US Government. The evidence for this hidden and very dirty war is investigated by Jonathan Holmes through the bones of the victims and the documents of the perpetrators. He accompanies US forensic expert Dr Clyde Snow in the painful task of exhuming the victims from the more than 400 massacre sites that have been identified: "You can hardly throw a rock around here without hitting a mass grave"

Earlier this year President Clinton apologised for the American involvement in Latin America's dirty wars after a thousand US Government classified documents revealed CIA training manuals for assassinations, deliberate attempts to hide or deny the genocide and direct involvement in military coups to topple reformist Governments. This was the era of the cold war and Reagan's fear of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua spreading. Anything was justified to contain the threat, including as Jonathan says about the US aid to the Guatemalan military:"They created a monster, which later they were powerless to control".

Indeed for the people of Guatemala the nightmare is not over. Just last year the Catholic Bishop of Quiche was pummelled to death with a concrete block after accusing the Guatemalan army of genocide. All the evidence points to military intelligence as the murderers.



(35,568 posts)
71. An even better video: Ending the Silence
Fri May 10, 2013, 12:51 AM
May 2013

Last edited Fri May 10, 2013, 02:39 AM - Edit history (1)

Ending the Silence - Guatemala

Sep 2003
Nearly a decade after the civil war ended in Guatemala, people are still 'disappearing'. But this hasn't stopped others from speaking out. Rosalind Tuyac's father and husband were both murdered during the civil war. Unlike countless others, she refuses to suffer in silence. She has formed a widows' group and is pressing the government for compensation. "For many of us, the wounds and scars of violence are still there," she explains. However condemning the government is a dangerous business in Guatemala. Especially when General Rios Montt, the man behind some of the worst atrocities during the war, controls the parliament and is standing for president. Many want him to be prosecuted for war crimes but he is protected by his parliamentary immunity. Dozens of government critics are still murdered or 'disappeared' every few months. But the voices for change are becoming louder. And they're becoming harder and harder to silence.

With a *star* appearance by Zury Rios Montt (the defendant's daughter), powerful Guatemalan politician and wife of former US Republican Congressman Jerry Weller

Congresswoman Zury Rios Montt
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