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Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:04 PM

Immunity for Genocide and Other War Crimes?

Weekend Edition January 18-20, 2013
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, Himself implicated in War crimes, Declares Guatemala will Not Comply with international Human Rights Court Rulings

Immunity for Genocide and Other War Crimes?


On December 28, 2012 the President of Guatemala, former General Otto Perez Molina, issued a presidential decree establishing that the Government of Guatemala will not abide by rulings of the Inter-American Court on Human Rights relating to crimes that occurred prior to 1987.

The decree went into effect January 3, 2013, but Perez Molina immediately came under intense pressure from national and international human rights organizations, and was forced to promise to rescind the law on January 11, 2013. Though short lived, the fact that a law which so brazenly contradicts firmly established international norms was ever created has been cause for alarm.

The law would have benefited a cadre of former military officers charged with crimes such as genocide, torture and forced disappearance. Perez Molina, himself, is part of this group.

Guatemala signed the Inter-American Convention in 1978 and in 1987 accepted the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court. Since then the Court has issued 17 rulings related to Guatemala, nine of which related to crimes that occurred prior to 1987. The Inter-American Court has clearly established jurisdiction over crimes prior to 1987, jurisdiction accepted by the Guatemalan government, … until now, and the administration of former General Perez Molina.


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Reply Immunity for Genocide and Other War Crimes? (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #1
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #2
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #3
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #4

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:22 PM

1. One of the current Guatemalan President's torture/murder victims was married to a USAmerican.

Her name was Jennifer Harbury.


Jennifer Harbury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jennifer K. Harbury (born 1951) is an American lawyer, author, and human rights activist. Her personal story, writing, and activism are significant in revealing the complicity of the CIA in human rights abuses, particularly in Central America.

Harbury grew up in Connecticut, graduating from Harvard Law School and Cornell University. In 1990, Harbury met her husband Efraín Bámaca Velásquez[1] (whose nom de guerre was Commandante Everardo). Bámaca was a Mayan commandante of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG) during Guatemala's civil war,[2] a period of brutal repression and genocide against Guatemala's indigenous populations at the time.[3][4][5][6]

In 1992 Bámaca was "disappeared" by the Guatemalan government. As a U.S. citizen and lawyer, Harbury set out to find her husband's whereabouts by protesting and through legal action despite receiving threats on her life and safety for these efforts.[1][2][7] Among the actions she took were two hunger strikes in Guatemala, one in front of the White House, and a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the CIA.[1][2]

During this period, both the Guatemalan and United States governments claimed they had no knowledge of Bámaca's whereabouts. However, as a consequence of Harbury's actions, U.S. State Department official Richard Nuccio ultimately became a whistleblower and revealed the fact that not only did the CIA know of his whereabouts, but that it had a close working relationship with the Central American death squads that were involved with his disappearance.[7] It was revealed that on March 12, 1992, the local Guatemalan army captured Efraín Bámaca Velásquez alive, that the army had secretly detained and tortured Bámaca for over a year before killing him in September 1993 without trial, and that his torturers and murderers were paid CIA informants.[1][2] For his whistle blowing, Mr. Nuccio was stripped of his security clearance and effectively purged from the CIA and the State Department.[8][9]


Published on Monday, March 18, 2002 in the Washington Post
Slain Rebel's Wife to Plead Case Before High Court
by Charles Lane

A political and legal drama that began 10 years ago in a remote corner of Guatemala reaches the Supreme Court today, where a lawyer-activist will argue for the right to sue former senior U.S. officials for allegedly covering up the murder of her husband, a Guatemalan rebel leader who died in Guatemalan army custody.

Jennifer K. Harbury says her constitutional right of access to the courts was violated by then-Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher, then-national security adviser Anthony Lake, and five other White House and State Department officials who, she says, falsely assured her in 1993 and 1994 that they were looking into Efrain Bamaca Velasquez's fate.

"But for those deceptive statements," Harbury said in an interview, "I could have gone to court and saved his life."

Although its origins lie in a bygone chapter of U.S. foreign policy, and the ultimate result is likely to turn on how broadly the justices define the right of access to the courts, the Harbury case is attracting attention as a conflict between citizens' right to know what their government is doing – and the government's need to operate in secrecy under some circumstances.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:22 PM

2. Good for Molina!


The IACHR is just a tool of the US government to extend hegemony over Latin America.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced that his country will withdraw "from the sadly famous Inter-American Commission on Human Rights" (IACHR) and called for the State Committee to evaluate this issue.
"As Head of State I will firstly request the State Council the analysis and the recomendation for the immediate withrawal from the sadly famous IACHR," Chávez stated during a nationwide tranmission.
"It's enough. How much longer are we going to have this Damocles sword?," he added.
"It's a mechanism that the United States uses against us," the president said referring to the Organization of American States (OAS).


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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:32 PM

3. Guatemala Elects Former Military General Accused of Torture, Genocide

Guatemala Elects Former Military General Accused of Torture, Genocide
by Jillian Tuck on November 10, 2011

Last Sunday, former military general Otto Perez Molina, was elected to be Guatemala’s next president. Mounting evidence of Perez Molina’s participation in crimes against humanity and genocide during Guatemala’s internal armed conflict raises the question of how the international community will respond to the new head of state.

Perez Molina served as a commanding military officer in the Ixil region of the Quiche department in the mid- 1980s. Under his leadership, the Guatemalan military carried out a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that escalated into genocide of the Maya Ixil people. As National Director of Military Intelligence during the 1990s, Perez Molina is also implicated in torture and forced disappearances. He allegedly ran a secret torture center on the Mariscal Zavala military base while on the CIA’s payroll during this time.

Perez Molina has not only denied participating in war crimes but has publically claimed that genocide in Guatemala did not occur. These denials fly in the face of a 1999 UN Truth Commission report that the Guatemalan army carried out daily acts of torture and terror in the Ixil region, and razed between 70 and 90 percent of the indigenous villages there.

The election of Perez Molina represents an unfortunate backwards step for Guatemala, who has struggled to implement rule of law and transition to democracy since the Peace Accords were signed in 1996. Civil society and human rights organization are strongly concerned because Perez Molina’s administration will have the power to support or block on-going reforms of the judicial system, state collaboration with the UN International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), and precedent setting human rights cases.


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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 04:52 PM

4. On the plus side,


Molina is against the war on drugs, and has joined with Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, and many other nations against the US war on drugs. Hopefully Chavez will get on board with that and the US can be thrown out of Latin America for good.

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